The stages of kidney cancer can affect the survival rate. But other factors, including general health, treatment, and the spread of the cancer, can also affect a person's prognosis.
If you have been diagnosedkidney cancerthe doctor will carry out an examinationstaging process. Staging is a way of describing cancer in terms of its location and spread. It helps doctors determine the best course of treatment.
Staging also allows doctors to predict a person's chances of recovery or outlook. Prospects are often discussed in terms of survival. For example, the five-year survival rate refers to what percentage of people survive at least five years after being diagnosed with cancer.
Knowing survival rates by stage can help you understand the prognosis based on the progression of kidney cancer, but everyone's situation is different. Survival rates depend on how well you respond to treatment, among other risk factors. This means that a person with a later-stage cancer may live longer than a person diagnosed with an earlier-stage cancer, or vice versa.
Find out what the stages of kidney cancer are and what they mean.
One method doctors use to assess kidney cancer is the TNM system.
- Trefers to the size of the primary tumor and whether it has invaded surrounding tissue.
- Nit is used to determine how far the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
- MIt indicates whether the cancer has metastasized or spread to other organs or distant lymph nodes.
For example, if you've been told your cancer is T1, N0, M0, it means you have a small tumor in your kidney, but it hasn't spread to lymph nodes or organs.
|TX||The primary tumor cannot be measured|
|T0||no major tumor was identified|
|T1||The main tumor is in only one kidney and is less than 7 cm or a little less than 3 inches in diameter|
|T2||The main tumor is only in one kidney and is larger than 7 cm|
|T3||The main tumor has progressed into a vena cava and adjacent tissue|
|T4||The main tumor has reached the tissues outside the kidney|
|NX||A tumor in the lymph nodes cannot be measured|
|N0||no evidence that the tumor has spread to the lymph nodes|
|N1 - N3||the tumor has spread to nearby lymph nodes; The higher the number, the more lymph nodes are involved|
|MX||Cancer spread (metastasis) cannot be measured|
|M0||The tumor has not spread to other organs|
|M1||The tumor has spread to other organs|
Kidney cancer can also be classified as stages 1 to 4. These stages represent cancers with similar outlooks and are therefore treated similarly. In general, the lower the level, the better the chances of recovery, but everyone's situation is different.
Stage 1 is the least aggressive stage and has the highest five-year survival rate. According to the TNM system, a tumor in the first stage is relatively small and is therefore labeled T1. The tumor is only in one kidney and there is no evidence that it has spread to the lymph nodes or other organs. It is therefore given the designations N0 and M0.
In the first stage, the cancerous kidney will likely be removed and further treatment may not be necessary. The chances of recovery are high. The five-year survival rate for stage 1 kidney cancer is
Stage 2 is more serious than stage 1. At this stage, the tumor is more than 7 centimeters in diameter, but only in the kidney. Now it is considered T2. However, like stage 1, there is no evidence that it has spread to nearby lymph nodes or other organs, so it is also classified as N0 and M0.
As with stage 1, a stage 2 cancerous kidney will likely be removed and no further treatment may be needed. The five-year survival rate for stage 2 kidney cancer is
The TNM system describes two scenarios for stage 3 kidney cancer. In the first scenario, the tumor has spread to the vena cava and surrounding tissue, but has not reached the surrounding lymph nodes. This is labeled T3, N0, M0.
In the second scenario, the tumor can be of any size and occur outside the kidney. In this case, the cancer cells also invaded nearby lymph nodes, but did not progress further. T1-T3, N1, M0 are considered.
In any case, treatment will be aggressive. If the cancer has reached the lymph nodes, they can be surgically removed. The five-year survival rate for stage 3 kidney cancer is
Stage 4 kidney cancer can also be classified in two ways. In the first case, the tumor has grown and reached the tissues outside the kidney. It may or may not have spread to nearby lymph nodes, but still has not metastasized. In this case, the designation is T4, any N, M0.
In the second case, the tumor can be of any size, located in the lymph nodes and metastasize to other organs or distant lymph nodes: any T, any N, M1.
The five-year survival rate drops at this stage
The assay and TNM levels are related. For example, level 1 will never be M1. Below are the TNM markings that can be found at each stage. A check mark indicates that TNM testing is possible at this stage.
|scene 1||Level 2||level 3||Level 4|
|T1, N0, M0||✓|
|T1, N0, M1||✓|
|T1, N1, M0||✓|
|T1, N1, M1||✓|
|T2, NO, M0||✓|
|T2, N0, M1||✓|
|T2, N1, M0||✓|
|T2, N1, M1||✓|
|T3, N0, M0||✓|
|T3, N0, M1||✓|
|T3, N1, M0||✓|
|T3, N1, M1||✓|
|T4, N0, M0||✓|
|T4, N0, M1||✓|
|T4, N1, M0||✓|
|T4, N1, M1||✓|
Some factors can
- High bloodLactat dehydrogenase (LDH)Value indicating cell damage
- high level of calcium in the blood
- low red blood cell count
Other factors affecting the outlook include:
- if the cancer has spread to two or more distant sites
- if less than a year has passed since the diagnosis, there is a need for systemic treatment
- Type of treatment
Starting treatment as soon as possible can increase your chances of survival. Treatment may include surgery to remove the tumor.immunotherapyor targeted drugs.
Five-year survival statistics are obtained by observing large numbers of people. However, every cancer is unique and numbers cannot predict a person's outlook. If you have kidney cancer and want to know your life expectancy, talk to your doctor.
Five-year survival rate by stage
|scene||Five-year survival rate|
If you have been diagnosed with kidney cancer, talk to your doctor about your stage and possible treatment plans. Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions, such as why you chose a particular treatment or if there are alternative treatment plans that can help you.
It's also worth finding out about clinical trials you can take part in. Clinical trials are another way to get new treatments, especially when standard treatment options prove ineffective.
The 5-year net survival for both kidney cancer and renal pelvis cancer is 73%. This means that, on average, people diagnosed with kidney cancer or renal pelvis cancer are 73% as likely to live at least 5 years.How long do stage 4 kidney cancer patients live? ›
|Stage||Five-year survival rate|
For this group, the 5-year relative survival rate is 93%. If kidney cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or organs and/or the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year relative survival rate is 72%. If the cancer has spread to a distant part of the body, the 5-year relative survival rate is 15%.What is very aggressive kidney cancer? ›
Hereditary Leiomyomatosis and Renal Cell Carcinoma (HLRCC) is considered one of the most aggressive forms of kidney cancer. A key characteristic of this cancer is the lack of an enzyme called fumarate hydratase (FH).Has anyone ever beat stage 4 kidney cancer? ›
When Irfan was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer, doctors left him with little hope. But he persevered and sought out treatment with high dose IL-2. Eight years later, he's still free of disease. Read his amazing story about being a long-term stage 4 kidney cancer survivor.How long can you live with stage 4 kidney function? ›
Life expectancy of an individual with stage 4 kidney disease depends on their current age and gender. For instance, males with stage 4 kidney disease have an average life expectancy of 14 years while women of the same age group will have an average life expectancy of 16 years.What is the progression of stage 4 kidney cancer? ›
Stage 4 means one of the following: the cancer has grown into surrounding tissues outside the connective tissue called Gerota's fascia, or into the adrenal gland. It may or may not have spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body. the cancer has spread to another part of the body.Is stage 4 kidney failure terminal? ›
It's possible to live a long, healthy life even when you have stage four chronic kidney disease. Your quality of life is greatly impacted by your nutrition and lifestyle.What is late stage 4 kidney cancer? ›
Stage 4 kidney cancer
The cancer has spread away from the kidney to distant sites or organs. The most common locations kidney cancer spreads, or metastasizes, to include distant lymph nodes, the lungs, bones, liver and brain.
“Low grades of kidney cancer tend to be slow-growing, while high grades can multiply fast. The other types that are found to be more aggressive are papillary (types 1 & 2), chromophobe, medullary and oncocytic.”
Kidney cancer most often spreads to the lungs and bones, but it can also go to the brain, liver, ovaries, and testicles. Because it has no symptoms early on, it can spread before you even know you have it.What is considered advanced kidney cancer? ›
Kidney cancer is called advanced if it has spread to another part of the body. This is also called a secondary cancer or metastasis. Your cancer may be advanced when you're first diagnosed. Or it may come back or spread some time after treatment.Is stage 5 kidney failure terminal? ›
Stage 5 CKD means your kidneys are getting very close to failure or have already failed. Kidney failure is also called end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). If your kidneys fail, you will need to start dialysis or have a kidney transplant to live.Is kidney cancer usually terminal? ›
Survival for all stages of kidney cancer
around 80 out of every 100 (around 80%) survive their cancer for 1 year or more after they are diagnosed. around 65 out of every 100 (around 65%) survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.
Is stage 4 cancer always terminal? Stage 4 cancer is not always terminal. It is usually advanced and requires more aggressive treatment. Terminal cancer refers to cancer that is not curable and eventually results in death.Does chemo help stage 4 kidney cancer? ›
This type of therapy treats cancer throughout the body. It can help to reduce cancer recurrences. Systemic therapy for stage 4 RCC includes immunotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation, and chemotherapy.What is the new treatment for kidney cancer? ›
Immunotherapy for Advanced Kidney Cancer
Today, most people with advanced kidney cancer will receive a type of immunotherapy drug called an immune checkpoint inhibitor at some point during their treatment.
Complete remission (CR) is uncommon during treatment for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), but it may occur in some patients. It remains a matter of debate whether therapy should be continued after CR.How long does it take to go from stage 4 to stage 5 kidney disease? ›
In the later stages (Stages 4–5), your kidneys must work harder to filter your blood and may stop working altogether. The goal at each stage of CKD is to take steps to slow down the damage to your kidneys and keep your kidneys working as long as possible.How long can a 70 year old live with stage 4 kidney disease? ›
Five decades ago, a failed kidney meant death was likely. These days, things are quite a bit different. According to the National Kidney Foundation, the average life expectancy for a patient on dialysis is 5-10 years. Though for someone between the ages of 70 and 74, life expectancy is closer to four years on dialysis.
Stage 4 kidney disease cannot be reversed, but you can take steps to help slow disease progression. For people with CKD, it's critical to control any other underlying medical issues you may have, and prevent or treat CKD complications.What is the best treatment for stage 4 kidney cancer? ›
Targeted therapy is the main treatment for stage 4 kidney cancer. Targeted therapy uses drugs to target specific molecules (such as proteins) on cancer cells or inside them. These molecules help send signals that tell cells to grow or divide.What foods should you avoid with stage 4 kidney disease? ›
- Dark-colored soda. In addition to the calories and sugar that sodas provide, they harbor additives that contain phosphorus, especially dark-colored sodas. ...
- Avocados. ...
- Canned foods. ...
- Whole wheat bread. ...
- Brown rice. ...
- Bananas. ...
- Dairy. ...
- Oranges and orange juice.
People who stop dialysis may live anywhere from one week to several weeks, depending on the amount of kidney function they have left and their overall medical condition.What should a person with stage 4 kidney failure eat? ›
Diet and stage 4 CKD
Reducing protein consumption to help decrease the buildup of protein waste. Consuming a some grains, fruits and vegetables (potassium and phosphorus are at normal levels) Limiting phosphorus to help PTH levels remain normal, prevent bone disease and even preserve existing kidney function.
The term stage 5 isn't used with most types of cancer. Most advanced cancers are grouped into stage 4. An exception is Wilms tumor, or nephroblastoma, a childhood cancer that originates in the kidneys. Stage 5 Wilms tumors are those that affect both kidneys.How fast does kidney cancer spread to the bones? ›
At the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the median time to diagnosis of bone metastasis was 24 months for good risk, five months for intermediate risk and zero months for poor risk. In addition, 71% of patients experienced at least one SRE.How long does kidney cancer take to spread to the lungs? ›
Renal cell carcinoma can have lung metastasis even after a long interval of radical nephrectomy (16 years after nephrectomy in our case). If any pulmonary nodule is diagnosed with a history of RCC, pulmonary metastasis of RCC should be suspected and should be appropriately treated.How fast does kidney cancer metastasize? ›
How fast kidney cancer spreads is widely variable. Some studies suggest an average growth rates of 0.3 centimeters (cm) per year, but findings vary widely. The grade of the cancer, the person's age and other factors can play a role . Kidney cancers are tumors that start growing inside the kidney.How painful is kidney cancer? ›
Although kidney cancer invasion does not cause pain, people might feel some pressure or pain in their back if there's a blood clot blocking the urine from draining well from the kidney. This pain can be similar to when kidney stones block urine drainage from the kidney.
Who gets kidney cancer? Kidney cancer is more common among older people and occurs more often among men than women and among Whites than Blacks. The risk of getting kidney cancer increases with age, most often occurring in people over the age of 50. However, kidney cancer does occur among children.What foods are good for kidney cancer? ›
- Fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and a good source of many essential vitamins and minerals. ...
- Whole grains. Whole wheat bread, wild rice, and whole wheat pasta are excellent sources of energy. ...
It's possible to live a long, healthy life even when you have stage four chronic kidney disease. Your quality of life is greatly impacted by your nutrition and lifestyle.What is the cure for stage 4 kidney cancer? ›
Targeted therapy is the main treatment for stage 4 kidney cancer. Targeted therapy uses drugs to target specific molecules (such as proteins) on cancer cells or inside them. These molecules help send signals that tell cells to grow or divide.Can you live 10 years with kidney cancer? ›
Survival for all stages of kidney cancer
around 65 out of every 100 (around 65%) survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed. more than 50 out of every 100 (more than 50%) survive their cancer for 10 years or more after they are diagnosed.
Chronic kidney disease usually progresses slowly, about half of the patients with stage 3 CKD progressed to stage 4 or 5, as assessed by eGFR, over 10 years.What is stage 4 kidney cancer with metastasis? ›
Cancer has spread (1) beyond the layer of fatty tissue around the kidney and may have spread into the adrenal gland above the kidney with cancer or to nearby lymph nodes; or (2) to other parts of the body, such as the bones, liver, lungs, brain, adrenal glands, or distant lymph nodes.Can you have chemo with stage 4 kidney disease? ›
The use of chemotherapeutic agents as single agents, or in combination, can be safely given in patients with end-stage renal disease. Appropriate dosage adjustments should be considered based on drug dialysability and pharmacokinetics.What does Stage 5 cancer mean? ›
The term stage 5 isn't used with most types of cancer. Most advanced cancers are grouped into stage 4. An exception is Wilms tumor, or nephroblastoma, a childhood cancer that originates in the kidneys. Stage 5 Wilms tumors are those that affect both kidneys.What stage is terminal kidney cancer? ›
Stage 4 kidney cancer
The cancer has spread away from the kidney to distant sites or organs. The most common locations kidney cancer spreads, or metastasizes, to include distant lymph nodes, the lungs, bones, liver and brain. The TNM classification for stage 4 kidney cancer is T4, any N, M0 or any T, any N, M1.
Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma: This accounts for around 5% of cases. Of these three types, clear cell carcinoma has the worst prognosis, and chromophobe renal cell carcinoma the best, with only 7% of cases going on to affect more distant parts of the body.Can you make a full recovery from kidney cancer? ›
It's possible to live a normal life with only 1 kidney. Your other kidney can usually make up for the kidney that was removed. Surgery for kidney cancer can be done in 2 ways: through a single large cut in the tummy or back – known as "open" surgery.