How RCC starts and spreads
Cancer cells are abnormal versions of healthy cells. They grow in many ways like these normal cells, but do so at abnormal rates with irregular shapes.
Here is how these cells grow and spread:
- A single RCC cell grows and divides to form 2 cells. These 2 cells divide to form 4 cells. This process repeats, again and again
- Unlike healthy cells, cancer cells do not respond to your body’s cues telling them to stop growing
- A tumor can be detected once enough cancer cells are made
- Some cancer cells may enter the bloodstream, spreading from the kidney to other parts of the body
- New tumors may arise in other organs. If this happens, the cancer is known as metastatic. But no matter where the cancer spreads, it will still be called RCC, because it started in the kidney
RCC starts in the kidney. It can start as 1 or more tumors in a single kidney. Less often, tumors form in both kidneys at the same time.