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Diagnosis & Therapy

Risk factors for kidney cancer identified, but the science is not exact

Risk factors for kidney cancer identified, but the science is not exact

Kidney cancer has a number of known risk factors, but the connections between those risks and the disease are not so well known, according to the American Cancer Society.

Obesity is an important risk factor for renal cell carcinoma, the ACS notes on Cancer.org, while adding that it “may cause changes in certain hormones that can lead to RCC.” Gender also has an effect, with men twice as likely to develop RCC as women, but the ACS indicates that “men are more likely to be smokers and are more likely to be exposed to cancer-causing chemicals at work, which may account for some of the difference.”

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Automated system grades clear cell RCC samples

Automated system grades clear cell RCC samples

Renal pathology is both a science and an art, requiring a breadth of knowledge about normal and abnormal tissues and a sharp, discerning eye that can detect patterns and features that can signal the presence and extent of malignancy.

Pathologists, with appropriate training and extensive experience, excel at analyzing complex visual patterns, but opinions about the gray areas – tissues with uncertain or borderline morphology – can differ and lead to different diagnostic conclusions.

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