When a person has cancer, the body’s cells start to grow at abnormal rates with irregular shapes. Sometimes the cells form a mass called a tumor.
As cancer cells grow, some may spread to nearby organs or to lymph nodes, forming what is known as a locally advanced tumor. Cancer cells can also enter the bloodstream and spread to more distant organs, which is called metastasis.
When a tumor starts from kidney cells, it’s called kidney cancer. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common type of kidney cancer and the 12th most common cancer in the world—with men twice as likely to be diagnosed than women. Nine in 10 people who have kidney cancer have RCC.
Advanced RCC is when kidney cancer has spread or cannot be removed by surgery.
It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about your options and work together to make a treatment plan.
The following may affect your risk for RCC:
Talk with your doctor if you think you may be at risk.
Signs and symptoms may appear as the tumor grows, while some may not appear in the early stages.
Some examples include:
These signs and symptoms may also appear in later stages where the tumor has spread.
This is also known as metastasis.
These tests may be used to diagnose RCC:
RCC is divided into 4 stages. The stage you are diagnosed with is based on the size of the tumor and where it’s found.
Stage IV or advanced kidney cancer