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Case Reports in Oncological Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 129813, 4 pages
Case Report

Renal Medullary Cancer in a Patient with Sickle Cell Trait

1Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Montefiore Hospital, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, New York, NY, USA
2Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa Hospital, University of Iowa, Iowa, IA, USA
3Department of Pathology, Montefiore Hospital, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, New York, NY, USA
4Department of Internal Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, 50 Fruit Street, Boston, MA, USA

Received 21 June 2013; Accepted 31 July 2013

Academic Editors: J. M. Buchanich and F. A. Mauri

Copyright © 2013 Narendrakumar Alappan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Renal medullary cancer is a rare malignancy almost exclusively seen in young patients of African ethnicity. These patients often present with the cardinal symptoms of hematuria, flank pain, and an abdominal mass, and this malignancy has been associated with patients carrying sickle cell trait. It is estimated that 300 million people worldwide carry sickle cell trait, and the presence of hematuria in these patients should be treated as a harbinger of a possible malignancy. Notably, this tumor mostly develops on the right side of the body. Patients often present with it at an advanced stage and the prognosis is poor. Therefore, a high index of suspicion in a patient of African descent presenting with a right sided abdominal mass and hematuria may assist in an early diagnosis. Current chemotherapy options are very limited, and early detection may provide a chance for surgical resection. It may also provide a bigger time frame for the initiation of novel chemotherapy regimens in patients who fail current chemotherapy regimens.