The kidneys are a set of prime organs in the body that is responsible for filtering the blood and removing the excess water and waste material from the body in the form of urine. Kidney cancer (growth of abnormal or malignant cells in the body) affects the cells in the kidney and the two most common types are the renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and transitional cell carcinoma (TCC. Here we discuss all about the stages of kidney cancer and its respective survival rates.
The tests that help to diagnose kidney cancer are urine tests, blood tests, physical examination, CT scan, intravenous pyelogram, ultrasound, MRI scan, biopsy of kidney tissue, and removing kidney tissue surgically. The exact cause of kidney cancer is yet unknown but the risk factors include high blood pressure, Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) syndrome, long-term dialysis, occupational exposure to asbestos etc.
What Stage is your Cancer?
Now you know that you have kidney cancer but it is extremely important that you understand at which stage it is. Your doctor will tell you it is in the first or second stage, but may not give you details. You need to understand the underlying meaning of it.
This is just the onset of the cancer and at this stage it is quite confined. The cancer is just within the kidney. The tumor is probably less than or just about 7cm in size.
If you have been diagnosed at the second stage then it means that the cancer has started to spread beyond the kidney and the surrounding fat is also getting affected. Your adrenal gland, which it on top of the kidney may also be affected by the cancer at this point. The cancer at this spread more than 7cm.
This is when the cancer has spread and it extends beyond the kidney. There are however two parts to this stage:
- Stage A is when the cancerous growth has reached the blood vessels and it is vascular.
- In Stage B the disease spreads to the lymph nodes.
This is the final stage of the cancer and the tumor becomes quite big and extends beyond the kidney. It may even touch the adrenal gland and doctors refer to it as the final stage.
- The first stage is the best time for the cancer to be diagnosed. Here you will be able to survive with treatment and surgery. The five year survival rate is almost 90%.
- At the second stage the rate of survival is quite high and your decision to continue treatment is a good one. The five year survival rate is more than 75%.
- In stage 3 A the 5 year survival rate is about 65% and in stage 3 B the 5 year survival rate is 25-30%.The fourth or final stage has a very low survival rate. The 5 year survival rate is 10%.