Metastatic Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma

Metastatic Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and More

Metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is a rare and aggressive type of kidney cancer. It is one of the most common types of kidney cancer and disproportionately affects men. Knowing the signs and symptoms, how it’s diagnosed, and what treatments are available can help improve the prognosis.


Early-stage ccRCC often causes no signs and symptoms. As the cancer progresses, however, it may cause:

  • blood in the urine
  • high blood pressure
  • uneven or patchy paleness in the kidney
  • pain in the side or lower back
  • anemia
  • swelling in the legs


To diagnose ccRCC, a doctor may conduct or order various tests, including:

  • physical examination
  • urinalysis
  • blood tests
  • imaging tests, such as ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI
  • biopsy, in which a doctor removes a small amount of tissue to be analyzed under a microscope


Once cancer is diagnosed, the doctor may use imaging and other tests to determine its stage. This helps them plan for treatment.


Treatment options for ccRCC depend on the stage. Surgery is the primary option for treating ccRCC that is localized, or has not yet spread to other areas. It involves removing the kidney and surrounding tissue. Surgery may be combined with other treatments, such as:

  • immunotherapy
  • chemotherapy
  • targeted therapy
  • radiation therapy


A ccRCC prognosis depends on several factors, including the extent of the cancer and whether it has spread, as well as the person’s age and overall health. The outlook for people with advanced metastatic ccRCC is guarded.