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Kidney Cancer Growth Behavior

Kidney cancer has its own kidney cancer growth behavior. There is a long incubation time for kidney cancer. It develops out of the renal tubules, which are collecting the filtered and still diluted urine, which is later concentrated.

They transform into little kidney cysts that gradually grow, first locally and at one point more aggressively with invasion into the surrounding tissue and final invasion into the kidney veins.

Kidney cancer develops into round structures and often reaches the point of transformation from the premalignant into the cancerous stage at a size of 7cm (=2″). These round lesions seem to occur more on the outside of the kidney (in the periphery). As there is a capsule around the kidney, the cancer often grows along the pathway of least resistance inside the kidney until it eats its way into the major kidney veins. From there it sends finger-like structures into the inferior vena cava, the major vein from the lower body half. Eventually cancer cells spread throughout the body as metastases and can occur in the liver, the skin, the brain, bone and other organs.



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Last modified: August 29, 2014

This outline is only a teaching aid to patients and should stimulate you to ask the right questions when seeing your doctor. However, the responsibility of treatment stays in the hands of your doctor and you.