What Is Renal Cell Carcinoma – Chromophobe?Renal cell carcinoma – chromophobe (ChRCC) is a distinct subtype of renal cell carcinoma that accounts for approximately 5% of all kidney cancers. Characterized by cells that appear pale or clear under the microscope due to their high lipid content, chromophobe RCC typically has a better prognosis than other types of RCC. It originates from the kidney’s cortical cells, which are involved in the organ’s filtering and urine production processes.
SymptomsIn the early stages, chromophobe renal cell carcinoma may not cause any symptoms. As the disease progresses, symptoms may include:
- Blood in the urine (hematuria)
- A lump or mass in the side or abdomen
- Persistent pain in the side
- Unexplained weight loss
- High blood pressure (less common)
Disease Aetiology (Causes)The exact cause of chromophobe renal cell carcinoma is not known. However, certain genetic and environmental factors may increase the risk, including:
- High blood pressure
- Family history of kidney cancer
- Certain inherited syndromes, such as Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome, may be associated with a higher risk of developing ChRCC.
DiagnosisDiagnosis of chromophobe renal cell carcinoma typically involves:
- Imaging tests such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to identify abnormalities in the kidney.
- Blood and urine tests to assess kidney function and look for signs of cancer.
- A biopsy, where a sample of kidney tissue is removed and examined under a microscope to determine the type of cells and the presence of cancer.
TreatmentTreatment options for chromophobe renal cell carcinoma depend on the stage of the disease, the overall health of the patient, and other factors. They may include:
- Surgery, which is the primary treatment and involves removing the tumor or the entire kidney (nephrectomy).
- Active surveillance for small, localized tumors that are not causing symptoms.
- Targeted therapy and immunotherapy, which are more commonly used for advanced or metastatic disease.
- Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are generally less effective for kidney cancer but may be considered in specific situations.