Renal cancer, also known as kidney cancer, is a type of cancer that starts in the kidneys. The stages of kidney cancer are similar to other forms of cancer, depending on how advanced the condition has become and how large the tumors are.
Staging kidney cancer is important because the stage of the cancer determines the appropriate treatment. The letters that make up the system used to stage kidney cancer are TNM.
What Are The T Stages?
The T portion is for the identification of the tumor size and whether it has spread to surrounding tissues.
No tumor present in the kidney.
A tumor smaller than 7 cm is present, confined to the kidney. There are two classes of T1 tumors. T1a is used to categorize a tumor that is smaller than 4 cm, whereas T1b is used to categorize one that is 4-7 cm.
T2 is used to refer to a tumor that is larger than 7 cm but is still only confined to the kidney. T2 also has two subclasses: T2a is 7-10 cm, but T2b is larger than 10 cm.
T3 means the tumor has spread to the tissue surrounding the kidney and the main artery but not the adrenal gland. T3a is used to categorize a tumor that is spreading to a major vein or surrounding tissue of the kidney. T3b is used to refer to a tumor that is spreading to a major vein that moves into the heart. T3c is used to refer to a tumor that is spreading to the portion of the vena cava situated in the chest.
T4 means that the cancerous cells have spread to distant organs and tissues in the body.
What Are the N Stages?
The N identification is reserved for tumors that have spread to lymph nodes. There are three primary stages of kidney cancer in the lymph nodes, which are N0, N1, and N2.
N0 means that the cancer has not grown into any lymph nodes, whereas N1 means one close-by lymph node has been targeted by the tumor. N2 is the stage where the tumor has spread to multiple lymph nodes.
What Are the M Stages?
The M identification is for the staging of metastases, which identifies whether the cancer has spread to other organs in the body such as the liver, lungs, and brain. There are only two M stages, which are M0 and M1. M0 means that the tumor has not spread while M1 means the cancer has metastasized and is in an advanced stage.
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