How Does Kidney Cancer Affect the Thyroid?

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The metastasis of kidney cancer

Like most things in cancer, kidney cancer can break away from the primary tumor and spread elsewhere in the body. The cancer cells that break free from the primary tumor can travel trough bloodstream or /and lymphatic system before eventually they arrive in new area of the body and form another cancerous tumor called secondary cancer. This process is called metastasis.


Theoretically, the cancer cells can spread anywhere. But in general, the metastasis of kidney cancer is more likely to spread in particular areas of the body such as tissues /organs close to the affected kidney, the other kidney, bones, liver, lungs, or brain. It is not common to be found in the thyroid, but this can happen!

Secondary cancer is build up of the same type of cancer cells as the primary cancer. For example, kidney cancer that spreads to the bones is not called bone cancer, because this secondary cancer is not derived from the original cells of the bones.

For more information about the metastasis of kidney cancer, read more in here!

The risk of second cancer

While people with thyroid cancer have a higher-than-normal risk to developing kidney cancer (this risk is about 2-7 times higher than average) – a few people with kidney cancer also develop a new second cancer in the thyroid. This suggests that kidney cancer might also slightly increase the risk of thyroid cancer.

This connection is not fully known. But some experts theorize that it may be the result of gene changes that are common to both kidney and thyroid cancers.

See also the chance to develop second cancer after kidney cancer in this section!

What else to know?

If you have kidney cancer, it’s not easy to skip feeling anxious about the chance of the cancer to spread elsewhere in the body. Apart from whether or not it can affect your thyroid, the link between the thyroid and kidneys has taken attention in research.

For examples, it’s thought that thyroid releases particular hormones that determine the rate at which the kidneys can filter the blood. And the kidneys also play a part to help activate particular thyroid hormones.

So although kidney cancer is not commonly associated with thyroid problem, but it’s quite possible for this cancer to affect the functional thyroid system. For more guidance, talk to your doctor!

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