Kidney cancer, or renal cell carcinoma (RCC), is a disease of increasing incidence that is commonly seen in the general practice of nephrology. However, RCC is underrecognized by the nephrology community, such that its presence in curricula and research by this group is lacking. In the most common form of RCC, clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), inactivation of the von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor is nearly universal; thus, the biology of ccRCC is characterized by activation of hypoxia-relevant pathways that lead to the associated paraneoplastic syndromes. Therefore, RCC is labeled the internist's tumor. In light of this characterization and multiple other metabolic abnormalities recently associatedwith ccRCC, it can now be viewed as a metabolic disease. In this review, we discuss the basic biology, pathology, and approaches for treatment ofRCC. It is important to distinguishbetween kidney confinement anddistant spread of RCC, because this difference affects diagnostic and therapeutic approaches and patient survival, and it is important to recognize the key interplay between RCC, RCC therapy, and CKD. Better understanding of all aspects of this disease will lead to optimal patient care and more recognition of an increasingly prevalent nephrologic disease, which we now appropriately label the nephrologist's tumor.
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