Oral cavity metastasis of renal cell carcinoma: a case report

J Med Case Rep. 2008 Sep 29:2:313. doi: 10.1186/1752-1947-2-313.


Introduction: Despite being reported rarely, renal cell carcinoma is the third most frequent neoplasm to metastasize to the head and neck region preceded only by breast and lung cancer. Little information exists regarding the presentation and work-up of metastatic renal cell carcinoma in the oral cavity.

Case presentation: We report the case of a 63-year-old Caucasian man presenting with an oral cavity lesion that was painful and that had grown substantially over several months. Biopsy resulted in persistent bleeding requiring cautery and manual pressure. Immunoperoxidase testing was necessary to make the diagnosis of metastatic renal cell carcinoma and rule out other clear cell carcinomas of salivary gland origin.

Conclusion: Metastatic renal cell carcinoma is part of the differential diagnosis for patients presenting with a new head or neck lesion in the setting of a history of kidney cancer. The physician needs to be prepared for the increased risk of bleeding and understand the importance of immunohistochemical staining to differentiate between metastatic renal cell carcinoma and malignancies of salivary origin. Unfortunately, the prognosis is invariably poor in these patients.