renal cell carcinoma

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(Grawitz tumour, hypernephroma) a malignant tumour of kidney cells, so called because it is said to resemble part of the adrenal gland and at one time was thought to originate from this site. It may be present for some years before giving rise to symptoms, which include fever, loin pain and swelling, and blood in the urine. Treatment is by surgery, but tumours are apt to recur locally or spread via the bloodstream and can often be seen growing along the renal vein. Secondary growths from a renal cell carcinoma in the lung have a characteristic ‘cannon-ball’ appearance. These tumours are relatively insensitive to radiotherapy and cytotoxic drugs but some respond to such hormones as progestogens. Targeted therapy (see targeted agent) is with sorafenib and sunitinib.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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