Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma

Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma: What is it and How Can it be Treated?

Metastatic renal cell carcinoma, also known as metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma, is a type of cancer that starts in the kidney but can spread to other parts of the body. It is a rare form of metastatic cancer, with only 4% of kidney tumors being clear cell carcinoma. The most common place for the metastasis, or spread of cancer, to occur is the lungs, followed by the bones, liver, and other organs. Despite its low incidence rate, it is the most common type of metastatic kidney cancer.

The cause of metastatic renal cell carcinoma remains unknown. Risk factors may include smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, and family history of kidney cancer. Diagnosis is made through imaging tests, such as CT or MRI scans, and biopsy of any abnormal tissue.

Treatments for metastatic renal cell carcinoma include surgery to remove the primary tumor, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted therapy. Targeted therapy works by blocking certain proteins that cause tumor growth, while chemotherapy and radiation therapy aim to destroy cancer cells and stop them from growing and spreading. Surgery is often used in combination with the other treatments.

The outlook for metastatic renal cell carcinoma varies depending on individual cases. Generally, the earlier that the cancer is found and treated, the better the chances of a long-term remission. However, the prognosis for advanced cases is usually worse, since the cancer has likely spread to other organs.

Coping with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma

Living with metastatic renal cell carcinoma can be physically and emotionally challenging. To help cope, there are some lifestyle changes that can make a big difference. These include:

  • Eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet
  • Staying active with moderate exercise
  • Practicing relaxation exercises
  • Seeking emotional support from loved ones

It is also important to talk to your healthcare team about the best treatment plan for your individual case, and if there are any clinical trials in your area. Finally, remember that the most important thing is to remain hopeful and positive despite the challenges that come with a metastatic disease.