The most common type of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is called clear cell carcinoma.
It is called “clear cell” carcinoma because the tumor cells have a pale or clear appearance on microscopic examination.
- Clear cell carcinoma accounts for about 75 to 85 percent of RCC cases.
- It arises from structures called the proximal convoluted tubule in the kidneys, which give the tumors a rich blood supply.
Clear cell carcinoma is highly vascular and tends to bleed, grow, and spread quickly. It is generally seen in individuals older than 50 years and may be associated with other conditions, such as Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome and tuberous sclerosis.
The identification of the type of RCC based on histopathologic or microscopic examination helps predict the disease outlook (prognosis) and plan proper treatment. Histologic classification helps look for other conditions that may coexist with the tumor.
Other types of RCC include:
- Papillary or chromophilic carcinoma (10 to 15 percent)
- Chromophobe carcinoma (5 to 10 percent)
- Oncocytic carcinoma or oncocytoma (three to seven percent)
- Collecting duct (Bellini) tumors (very rare)
- Translocation RCC (rare)
- Multilocular cystic RCC
- Unclassified tumors (about five percent)
What is renal cell carcinoma?
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC), previously called hypernephroma or Grawitz tumor, is the most common type of cancer that originates in the kidneys (primary renal neoplasm). It accounts for about 80 to 85 percent of all primary cancer of the kidney.
Other types of primary cancer of the kidney include:
- transitional cell carcinoma (about eight percent),
- Wilms tumor (nephroblastoma), and
- renal sarcoma.
RCC generally affects older individuals (50 to 70 years of age) and is almost two times as common in men than in women. It causes about 76,000 new cases with almost 14,000 deaths each year in the United States.
What are the signs and symptoms of renal cell carcinoma?
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is often asymptomatic in most people until it has reached an advanced stage.
In just 10 percent of the cases, this cancer may present in its typical form (called the classic triad) that consists of the following:
Hematuria may not always be visible to the naked eye (gross hematuria). In most cases, the blood cells are seen in urine on microscopic examination (microscopic hematuria). Some people may pass blood clots in urine.
Other signs and symptoms of RCC include:
What are the risk factors for renal cell carcinoma?
Some of the factors that may increase the risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) include:
- Non-modifiable risk factors (factors that you cannot change):
- Modifiable risk factors (factors that you can change):
- Cigarette smoking
- High blood pressure
- Occupational exposure to certain toxic compounds such as cadmium, asbestos, and petroleum byproducts
- Prolonged use of certain painkillers (analgesics) such as acetaminophen, aspirin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Chemotherapy exposure
- Prior radiation therapy
- Intake of nitrites through processed meats
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top Most Common Type of Renal Cell Carcinoma Related Articles
Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC)Adenoid cystic carcinoma is a rare cancer that forms in glandular tissues. The location of the cancer determines the signs and symptoms. Treatment might incorporate chemotherapy, surgery, and/or radiation therapy.
Advanced Nodular Basal Cell CarcinomaA solitary, shiny, nodule with large telangiectatic vessels on the ala nasi, arising on skin with dermatoheliosis. See a Basal Cell Carcinoma: Advanced Nodular BCC and learn more about the health topic.
Blood in UrineBlood in the urine is termed hematuria. Hematuria, whether it be gross or microscopic, is abnormal and should be further investigated.
Can Squamous Cell Carcinoma Spread to Lymph Nodes?Squamous cells are thin, flat cells found in tissues that form the surface of the skin and the lining of body cavities, such as the mouth, nose and throat. Squamous cell carcinoma is a fairly slow-growing carcinoma. Unlike other types of carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma can spread from its original site to the lymph nodes, e.g. in the neck or around the collarbone.
Cancer QuizTake this quiz to learn the causes of cancer. Get the facts about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for the world's most common cancers.
Cancer: Cancer 'Remedies' That Don't WorkYou may have read about an all-natural cure for cancer. While many therapies are helpful, some aren't worth your time or money. Even worse, they may be dangerous. Here are a few you should never try.
Cancer: Does This Cause Cancer?Everything gives you cancer, right? Not really. WebMD's slide show tells you about the research into cancer and cell phones, X-rays, plastic bottles, coffee, and more.
Gastroesophageal Junction AdenocarcinomaGastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma is cancer that forms in the area where the esophagus joins the stomach. Having GERD and Barrett's esophagus increases one's odds of developing gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma. Symptoms and signs of GE junction adenocarcinoma include dysphagia, weight loss, black stool, cough, nausea, and vomiting. Treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy.
Is Adenocarcinoma an Aggressive Cancer?Adenocarcinoma happens when cells in the glands that line organs grow out of control. They may spread to other places and harm healthy organs. Adenocarcinoma in different organs manifests differently, so some are more aggressive than others.
Is NUT Carcinoma Curable?NUT carcinoma, also called NUT midline carcinoma, is a highly aggressive tumor arising due to abnormality in a gene called the NUT (nuclear protein in the testis) gene. NUT carcinoma may be curable when detected early.
What Are the Top 11 Cancer-Fighting Foods?Foods that fight cancer include phytochemicals, berries, turmeric, onions, and more. Learn how you can lower your risk of developing cancer through your diet.
Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC)Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a rare genetic disease caused by defects on two genes. The signs and symptoms of TSC vary depending on which organs and systems are involved. Common symptoms include benign tumors, seizures, behavior problems, skin abnormalities, and cognitive impairment. TSC treatment focuses on alleviating the symptoms with medications, special schooling, surgery, supplemental oxygen therapy, lung transplantation, and occupational therapy.
What Is a Significant Early Sign of an Endometrial Carcinoma?An endometrial carcinoma, also commonly referred to as uterine cancer, means cancer of the lining of the uterus (endometrium). It is the most common cancer of the female reproductive system. It usually causes signs and symptoms in its earlier stages.
What Is Lung Adenocarcinoma?Lung adenocarcinoma is a type of non-small lung cancer that forms in the cells that normally secrete lubricating substances such as mucus. This type of lung cancer occurs mainly in current or former smokers.
What Is RCC Stand For?Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common type of kidney cancer that accounts for 90% of all cases. Cancerous cells typically develop in the lining of very small filtering tubes in the kidney called tubules. Cancer cells start multiplying and grow out of control forming a tumor in one or both kidneys.