Kidney cancer or renal cancer is when kidney cells grow uncontrollably and form a tumour. Kidney cancer often begins in the tubules (tiny tubes in the kidneys). The prognosis may depend on the stage of the kidney cancer.
Different Stages of Kidney Cancer
The TNM system helps to categorize each stage of the kidney cancer.
Tumour (T) – Describes the size and location of the tumour.
Node (N) – Describes the spread of cancer to lymph nodes.
Metastatis (M) – Describes the spread of cancer to other body parts.
These results combined with the five stages (0 and 1 to 4) can help to identify the right treatment option for every patient. Zero stage describes no cancer presence. For instance –
Stage 1 – Here the tumour is confined to kidneys and its size is smaller than 7 centimetres. (T1 or T1, N0, M0)
Stage 2 – Here the tumour is confined to kidneys and its size is more than 7 centimetres. (T2)
Stage 3 – Here the tumour is in kidneys or blood vessels or fatty tissues but also a lymph node; cancer spreads to major veins but doesn’t extend beyond renal or Gerota’s fascia (connective tissues surrounding adrenal glands and kidneys). (T3)
Stage 4 – Here the cancer is in the fatty tissues surrounding kidneys and adjacent lymph nodes; has spread to other nearby organs and beyond renal fascia. (T4)
Treatment and management of kidney cancer
Once your doctor has determined the staging of your kidney cancer, a treatment plan can be formulated for you.
Chemotherapy is not very effective for treating kidney cancer. Talk to your doctor about all possible treatment options for your cancer. You can lower your risk of kidney cancer by eating healthy, maintaining your ideal body weight and managing your blood pressure.