Renal Cell Carcinoma
The most common form of kidney cancer in adults.
What is it ?
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) forms in the tubes of the kidneys that filter blood and produce urine. It represents about 80 per cent of all kidney cancer diagnoses.
Kidney cancer is the 10th most common type of cancer in Canada with a five-year survival rate of 67 per cent. Roughly 6,600 Canadians are diagnosed with kidney cancer each year, and it is more common in men than in women.
The Challenges :
Recognizing the Symptoms. The kidneys have few nerves, so tumours can often grow without causing pain or discomfort. The kidneys’ location means tumours won’t affect the surrounding organs until they are very large. Unfortunately, because kidney cancer often does not exhibit any symptoms, over 25% of patients are diagnosed at later stages of the disease.
Treating Advanced Stage RCC. Unfortunately, advanced stage kidney cancer doesn’t respond well to conventional treatment such as radiation, chemotherapy or surgery. Until recently, the five-year survival rate for patients diagnosed with stage IV kidney cancer has been lower than 10 per cent. However, in the past five years, Health Canada has approved targeted treatments that are enabling patients to live longer than ever before.