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Renal Cell Carcinoma/Kidney Cancer


It is a cancer that originates in the cells of proximal convoluted tubules which is lined by ciliated columnar epithelium. These tubules are helpful in the removal of waste products and reabsorbing the useful content from the filtrate. Its survival rate is low and it is the most common cancer among kidney cancers. The affected kidney has a distorted morphology. It has a multi lobular tumour in the renal cortex (a part in the kidney) yellowish in colour. Some substances like renin can release from the tumour cells as they function like normal kidney cells and may cause hypertension. These cells can also release erythropoietin that can cause increase in the red cell count. This is more common in men than women.

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There are certain factors that can cause renal cell carcinoma. But a most common cause includes:

  • Genetic factor which can cause this like RCCp3, RCC17, etc.
  • Hypertension
  • Family history of diseases like papillary renal cancer, leiomyoma RCC
  • Syndrome (leiomyoma is the tumour of smooth muscle cells)
  • Certain compounds like polycyclic hydrocarbon, gasoline, etc.

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Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms of the condition are:

  • Blood in urine (heamaturia)
  • Abdominal mass
  • Pain in flank
  • Malaise
  • Anorexia
  • Polycythemia
  • Constipation
  • Hypocalcaemia
  • Anaemia can also occur due suppression of production of erythropoietin by tumour(it may also increase erythropoitin and cause polycythemia)
  • Obstruction to the veins
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The best way to avoid renal cell cancer, and many other cancers, is not to smoke. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight also reduce the risk of cancer.

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Surgery Modern Medicine

Treatment includes surgery in which there is nephrectomy i.e removal of a part of kidney. If tumour also grows towards the lymph nodes or in blood vessels, then that can also be removed. Usually laproscopic surgeries are used, also known as Keyhole surgery.  

Therapies Modern Medicine

When the surgeries are contraindicated, we can use Percutaneous therapy. Certain vaccine like TroVax can be used for renal cell carcinoma. Chemotherapy includes use of drugs like Tyrosine kinase inhibitors like Sunitinib, sorafenib. These drugs inhibit angigenesis ano tumour cell proliferation.

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