What are the signs and symptoms of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (CCRCC)?

Updated: Mar 11, 2019
  • Author: Ronald J Cohen, MB, BCh, PhD, FRCPA, FFPATH; Chief Editor: Liang Cheng, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (CCRCC) is more likely to be symptomatic at presentation compared with other histologic variants of RCC (46% of CCRCC compared with 35% of papillary RCC and 42% of chromophobe RCC). [27]

The most common signs and symptoms reported for patients presenting clinically with RCC in modern surgical series include the following:

Symptoms reported in less than 10% of patients include the following:

  • Thrombocytosis

  • Night sweats

  • Fever

  • A flank or abdominal mass

  • Hypertension

  • Erythrocytosis

  • Chills

All of the above signs and symptoms can occur in patients with localized as well as metastatic disease. Many of them represent paraneoplastic syndromes. [28]

However, approximately 46% of patients with RCC in modern surgical series are asymptomatic, with the tumor diagnosed incidentally during abdominal radiologic imaging for unrelated symptoms. [28] This reflects the introduction of high-resolution ultrasonography and computed tomography (CT) in the 1980s, which has increased the detection rate for RCC, in particular the detection of tumors smaller than 3 cm in maximal diameter. [29]


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