NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Kidney Cancer, Version 1.2017
Tissue tests | Review
Tissue samples removed with a biopsy or surgery
will be sent to a pathologist. A pathologist is a doctor
who’s an expert in testing cells to find disease.
The pathologist will view the tissue sample with a
microscope to look for cancer cells. He or she will
also assess the features of the cancer cells to find
out the subtype.
Subtypes of RCC
RCC is the most common type of kidney cancer.
There are also many subtypes of RCC, based on
how the cancer cells look under a microscope. The
most common subtype by far is clear cell RCC.
Clear cells look very pale or clear when viewed with
a microscope. Other, less common subtypes are
papillary and chromophobe. There are also a number
of very rare subtypes of RCC. Collecting duct and
medullary are very rare forms of non-clear cell RCC.
When the cancer cells don’t look like any of the
subtypes, it’s called unclassified RCC.
Your health history and a body exam inform
your doctor about your health.
Imaging tests are used to find and confirm
Blood and urine tests check for signs of
A biopsy removes small samples of tissue to
test for cancer.
Clear cell RCC is the most common subtype.
The only symptom I ever had was
blood in urine - never any pain. I am
so happy to be here today. 45 years
old today, with no limitations. So
lucky to catch it so early.