Renal Cell Carcinoma
July 09, 2021 | Farah Jassawalla

Renal Cell Carcinoma

Renal Cell Carcinoma is the most common type of cancer found in the renal system or the kidneys. Kidneys are present on both sides of the backbone and help regulate and balance fluids in our body. They contain little tubes called tubules, which help in purifying blood, extracting waste, and producing urine.

RCC (Renal Cell Carcinoma) occurs when cancer cells start spreading in the kidney walls and tubules. RCC is a malignant cancer that can spread quickly to other organs of the body, like the lungs, through the blood and lymphatic system. Therefore, it must be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

Causes of renal cell carcinoma

The exact cause of Renal Cell Carcinoma is still not known. However, it is demographically more common amongst men between the ages of 50 to 70. Doctors believe that the following are a few of the things that increase the risk of Renal Cell Cancer in people:

       Having a family history of RCC


       Using drugs or overdosing on certain drugs and steroids

       Obesity and diabetes

       Having cysts in the kidney


       Kidney transplant or dialysis

Signs and Symptoms

There are various signs and symptoms of Renal Cell Cancer, and they change as the disease grows. Some of the common symptoms are mentioned below:

       Blood in the urine

       Lump in the abdominal area or at the side

       Constant pain in the back or on one side

       Fatigue and fever

       Loss of appetite and weight loss

       Paleness and anemia

If anyone experiences more than 3 symptoms at the same time, they should immediately consult a doctor.

Diagnosis of renal cell carcinoma

Doctors can suspect that a patient has renal cell cancer by noticing the symptoms and taking into consideration the patient’s family history. They conduct different tests to diagnose this cancer. Some of them are as follows:


During this test, a small piece of the tissue from the Kidney tumors is extracted. The tissue is extracted with the help of a needle that is inserted into the cyst or tumor. The tissue is then sent to the lab for examination to confirm whether the cyst is cancerous or not.

Imagery tests like ultrasound, CT scan and MRI:

During these tests, detailed images of the kidney and its insides are produced to detect signs of cancers or tumors.

Urine Tests:

Urine samples are taken for examination in the laboratory and tested for protein, red blood cells, white blood cells and sugar levels.

Blood Analysis:

To check which kind of substances are being released in the bloodstream by different organs and to check if the levels of these substances are normal or not.

After the diagnosis of renal cell cancer, tests are done to figure out the stage of cancer and whether it has spread to other parts of the body, like the lungs.

Treatment of renal cell carcinoma

There are various treatments and procedures done to treat Renal cell cancer depending upon the stage of cancer and urgency of treatment. For detailed information, book an online appointment with Shifa4U. The most common treatments that a doctor might recommend are:


The patient is subjected to X-rays to kill cancer cells in the kidney. This radiation can be given externally by a machine or internally by inserting a seed or a device.


In this treatment, the cancer cells are killed by inserting drugs orally or intravenously. It is also the most common treatment for most kinds of cancer


Surgery is done at a later stage of cancer, where a part of the kidney that is affected or the entire kidney is removed. In case of removal of both kidneys, a kidney transplant is required.

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Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.