Renal cell carcinoma, or RCC, develops in the lining of the kidney's tubes and grows into a mass or tumor. RCC represents approximately 4% of all new cancers worldwide, and accounts for 90% of cancerous kidney tumors. Most patients diagnosed with RCC are older (~64 years of age), and the disease is twice as common in men as in women.
If left untreated, RCC can become advanced or metastatic, meaning the cancer cells have spread to other areas of the body. It is estimated that more than 30% of patients have advanced or metastatic RCC at the time of diagnosis.
Click here for an animated view of the advanced RCC patient journey.
Treating Renal Cell Carcinoma
Treatment plans for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) vary, but can often involve both surgery and medicine, and it is not uncommon for patients to be treated with more than one medicine or type of therapy.
Treatment approaches for patients with advanced RCC can include:
Surgery: The removal of all or part of the kidney
Chemotherapy: Drugs usually given as part of a treatment plan that also includes surgery and radiation therapy
Immunotherapy: Treatment that uses certain parts of a person's own immune system
Targeted Therapy: Medication that interferes with different growth pathways
Some treatments for advanced RCC are given intravenously, and some are oral therapies in the form of a tablet or pill.
Questions to ask your doctor
What are the current treatment approaches for managing advanced RCC?
What are the expected benefits of each kind of treatment?
What are the side effects of each treatment?
How will each treatment affect me?
Is it common for patients with RCC to be given different types of therapy throughout the course of their care?
Are there new treatments or clinical trials that I should consider?
What resources are available to support patients with RCC and their loved ones?
Are there any patient groups nearby or online who can provide support and information for people living with advanced RCC?
Pathways in Renal Cell Carcinoma: An Animated View