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Kidney Cancer Stages

Updated at: Jun 21, 2016
Written by: Aparna MirPublished at: Oct 11, 2012
Kidney Cancer Stages

Determining the stage of kidney cancer is important to choose suitable treatment option for this lethal disease. The kidney cancer stages are based on varied factors ranging from the size of the tumour to its metastasis.

Kidney Cancer Stages

Kidney cancer stages are based on the extent to which the cancer has spread. The stages of kidney cancer are based on many factors such as the size of the tumour, the extent of infection and the organs it has infected.


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Stages of kidney cancer determine the treatment options. Different stages of kidney cancer require different modes of treatment. According to TNM system (Tumour Node Metastasis system), there are four stages of kidney cancer.


T stage of kidney cancer

It varies from zero to fourth stage. It shows the effect of cancer on kidneys. It shows the amount to which the kidney is damaged. The T stage varies from T0 to T4.

  • T0 stage is when there is no growth of primary tumour in the kidney.
  • T1 stage is when a small tumour has grown inside the kidney. The size of the tumour is about 7cm.
  • T2 stage is when size of the tumour is more than 7cm.
  • T3 stage is when that cancer has affected the kidney capsule, veins, adrenal gland and the tissues surrounding the kidney.
  • T4 stage is when cancer has affected the nearby organs as well.


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N stage of kidney cancer

N stage shows that the cancer has affected the lymph nodes. It also varies from N0 to N2.

  • N0 stage is when there is no carcinogenic tumour in the lymph nodes.
  • N1 stage shows that lymph nodes attached to the kidneys are only infected.
  • N2 stage shows that cancer has spread to other lymph nodes as well.


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M stage of kidney cancer

M stage of the cancer has two parts, M0 and M1. M0 stage means cancer is localised and M1 stage means cancer has spread throughout the kidney.

The final stage is evaluated on the basis of analysis and then the treatment is given. There are four final stages of kidney cancer.

  • Stage1: The cancer is mild. The tumour is not larger than 7cm and has not spread in the entire kidney.
  • Stage2: The tumour size has increased more than 7cm, but it is still localised in the kidney.
  • Stage3: The cancer cells have spread to the nearby cells and tissues. Adrenal glands, veins and one lymph node get affected.
  • Stage4: It is the final stage of the cancer. The tumour has become malignant and has spread to other organs such as lungs. Cancer at this stage is generally incurable.

On the basis of these cancer stages, the mode of treatment is decided. These kidney cancer stages show the extent of cancer and how much damage it has caused.

Read more articles on Kidney Cancer


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