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Renal Metastases

By

J. Ryan Mark

, MD, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University

Last full review/revision Sep 2019| Content last modified Sep 2019
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Nonrenal cancers may metastasize to the kidneys. The most common cancers that metastasize to the kidney are melanomas and solid tumors, particularly lung Overview of Lung Tumors Lung tumors may be Primary Metastatic from other sites in the body Primary tumors of the lung may be Malignant (see table Classification of Primary Malignant Lung Tumors) read more , breast Breast Cancer Breast cancer most often involves glandular breast cells in the ducts or lobules. Most patients present with an asymptomatic mass discovered during examination or screening mammography. Diagnosis... read more Breast Cancer , stomach Stomach Cancer Etiology of stomach cancer is multifactorial, but Helicobacter pylori plays a significant role. Symptoms include early satiety, obstruction, and bleeding but tend to occur late in the disease... read more Stomach Cancer , gynecologic Introduction to Gynecologic Tumors Gynecologic cancers often involve the uterus, ovaries, cervix, vulva, vagina, fallopian tubes, or the peritoneum. The most common gynecologic cancer in the US is endometrial cancer, followed... read more , intestinal, and pancreatic Pancreatic Cancer Pancreatic cancer, primarily ductal adenocarcinoma, accounts for an estimated 57,600 cases and 47,050 deaths in the US annually (1). Symptoms include weight loss, abdominal pain, and jaundice... read more . Leukemia Overview of Leukemia Leukemia is a malignant condition involving the excess production of immature or abnormal leukocytes, which eventually suppresses the production of normal blood cells and results in symptoms... read more and lymphoma Overview of Lymphoma Lymphomas are a heterogeneous group of tumors arising in the reticuloendothelial and lymphatic systems. The major types are Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (see table Comparison of... read more may invade the kidneys, which then appear enlarged, often asymmetrically.

Despite extensive interstitial involvement, symptoms are rare, and renal function may not change from baseline. Proteinuria is absent or insignificant, and blood urea and creatinine levels rarely increase unless a complication (eg, uric acid nephropathy, hypercalcemia, bacterial infection) occurs.

Renal metastases are usually discovered during evaluation of the primary tumor or incidentally during abdominal imaging. If there is no known primary tumor, diagnosis proceeds as for renal cell carcinoma Renal Cell Carcinoma Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common renal cancer. Symptoms can include hematuria, flank pain, a palpable mass, and fever of unknown origin (FUO). However, symptoms are often absent... read more .

Treatment is systemic therapy for the primary tumor and, rarely, surgery. However, partial nephrectomy may be necessary to guide choice of systemic therapy in cases where core needle biopsy is unable to provide sufficient tissue.

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