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  • Kidney Tumors

    Kidney tumors stem from two forms of kidney cancerrenal cell carcinoma (RCC) and urothelial cell carcinoma (UCC), also known as transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the renal pelvis.

    There are also several rare sub-categories of kidney tumors. Each requires its own form of treatment, so a proper diagnosis is vital.

    Kidney tumors can also result from cancer metastasizing from elsewhere in the body. Some forms of cancer are thought to have a genetic link.

    Signs and Symptoms

    Depending on the type of kidney tumor, there may be no symptoms; however, in nearly all cases of kidney tumors, a significant mass is found between the ribs and the crista ilii. In severe cases, the mass fills the entire belly. Besides the mass, other common symptoms of RCC are blood in the urine, pain in the loins or lower abdomen, or general fatigue or loss of energy. Symptoms of UCC depend on the location of the tumor.


    Approximately 200,000 cases of kidney cancer are diagnosed each year, accounting for nearly 2% of all cancer cases. Northern America has the highest rate of kidney cancer. Kidney cancer can be diagnosed in a number of ways—following a battery of tests, including blood and urine samples, by a CT (CAT) scan, ultrasound, or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). If any of these tests detect cancer, the doctor can confirm the diagnosis by conducting a biopsy.


    The type of tumor primarily determines the course of treatment. Surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy (or combinations of any of these treatments) are common options for kidney tumors. UCC kidney tumors are commonly treated with chemotherapy. RCC kidney tumors are a bit more difficult to treat, as they don’t usually respond to chemotherapy. In most cases, RCC is treated with surgery.


    The prognosis for RCC kidney tumors is generally poor since they don’t respond to traditional cancer treatment like chemotherapy or radiation. There have been many cases of tumor recurrence even after surgery. UCC/TCC kidney tumors have a high rate of recurrence even after successful treatment, creating a need for vigilant observation and frequent check-ups.