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Renal Cell Cancer (cont.)

How Do Physicians Determine Staging of Renal Cell Carcinoma?

Staging of renal cell cancer is based on the size of the tumor and the extent of its spread outside the kidney. Like many cancers, renal cell cancer is staged according to the tumor (T), nodes (N), and metastases (M) classification endorsed by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC). The TNM classification system assigns a T code, an N code, and an M code to each tumor. An X is used if that feature cannot be determined. The combination of these 3 codes determines the disease stage.

  • Primary tumor (T) - 0, 1, 2, 3a, 3b, 3c, 4; based on size of tumor and parts of kidney and surrounding area involved
  • Regional lymph nodes (N) - 0, 1, 2; based on number of lymph nodes involved
  • Distant metastasis (M) - 0 (no metastasis), 1 (metastasis)

AJCC Stages

  • Stage I - T1N0M0; cancer is 7 cm or smaller in size and confined to the kidney
  • Stage II - T2N0M0; cancer is larger than 7 cm and confined to the kidney
  • Stage III - T1 or 2, N1M0 or T3a-c, N0-1, M0; cancer of any size that has spread to fatty tissue, blood vessels, or a lymph node near the kidney
  • Stage IV - T4; or any T, N2M0; or any T, any N, M1; cancer has spread to multiple lymph nodes; to nearby organs, such as the bowel or pancreas; or to other parts of the body, such as the lung, brain, or bone
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/14/2015
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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Renal Cell Cancer:

Renal Cell Carcinoma - Metastasis

Had your renal cell carcinoma metastasized by the time it was diagnosed?

Renal Cell Cancer - Experience

What is your biggest challenge with living with renal cell carcinoma?

Renal Cell Carcinoma - Treatment

What treatment has been effective for your renal cell carcinoma?

Renal Cell Carcinoma - Symptoms and Signs

The symptoms and signs of renal cell carcinoma can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms and signs at the onset of your disease?

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Renal Cell Carcinoma »

Renal cell carcinoma accounts for approximately 3% of adult malignancies and 90-95% of neoplasms arising from the kidney.

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