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Oncocytoma: Treatment, symptoms, advice and help

About oncocytoma (oxyphil cell adenoma)

Oncocytoma is a tumour which may affect various organs and characterised by abnormal growth of specific cells called ‘oncocytes’ or ‘oxyphilic cells’. These cells are large benign cells having many mitochondria. Oncocytoma is a benign, slow-growing tumour but may progress to become cancerous. The most commonly affected organs are the salivary glands, the thyroid gland and the kidneys.

Oncocytoma (oxyphil cell adenoma): Incidence, age and sex

The incidence of oncocytoma varies according to the organ it is associated with. Renal oncocytoma is most commonly seen and found in 5% of the population and mainly in the old age. It is seen more in men compared to women. Salivary gland and thyroid gland are the rarest among the oncocytoma.

Signs and symptoms of oncocytoma (oxyphil cell adenoma): Diagnosis

Oncocytoma is mostly asymptomatic. However, some symptoms may be exhibited by affected individuals and depend upon the organ involved. Oncocytoma of the kidney may be presented by flank pain and blood in the urine.

The diagnosis is established by biopsy which involves microscopic examination of a small part of the tumour area. CT or MRI scan may be done to confirm the site and extension of the tumour.

Causes and prevention of oncocytoma (oxyphil cell adenoma)

The cause of oncocytoma is not yet known. It is frequently associated with other benign tumours.

Oncocytoma (oxyphil cell adenoma): Complications

Oncocytoma, though benign, may progress to cancerous growth with time. It is a difficult disease to diagnose, owing to the lack of symptoms. Thus, its diagnosis mainly in the advanced stage may result in loss of functioning, permanent damage or failure of the affected organ.

Oncocytoma (oxyphil cell adenoma): Treatment

The treatment of oncocytoma depends upon the site involved, coupled with the extent of tumour. Oncocytoma of kidneys is the commonest and its choice of treatment is surgical resection. Surgical intervention in cases of kidney oncocytoma can be of two types. It can either be partial nephrectomy or total nephrectomy. Partial nephrectomy involves surgical removal of only the tumour and surrounding damaged tissue. On the other hand, radical nephrectomy includes removal of a large chunk of the kidney along with the tumour growth.