Kidney Cancer Staging
The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) uses the TNM classification to define the stages of kidney cancer:
T is for Tumor. The number after the T indicates the size of the tumor and how far it has invaded. The larger the number, the bigger and/or more invasive the cancer.
- TX means the primary tumor cannot be assessed
- T0 means there is no evidence of primary tumor.
- T1 means the tumor is 7 cm or less and is limited to the kidney.
- T1a means the tumor more than 4 cm or less in greatest dimension, limited to the kidney.
- T1b means the tumor is more than 4 cm but not more than 7 cm and is limited to the kidney.
- T2 means the tumor is more than 7 cm and is limited to the kidney.
- T2a means the tumor is more than 7 cm but not more than 10 cm and is limited to the kidney
- T2b means the tumor is more than 10 cm and is limited to the kidney
- T3 means the tumor extends into major veins, the adrenal gland, or the tissue around the nephrons, but does not go beyond Gerota’s fascia.
- T3a means the tumor has invaded the adrenal gland or the nearby fatty tissue but does not go beyond Gerota’s fascia.
- T3b means the tumor has deeply invaded the renal vein or one of its branches, or has invaded the vena cava (a major vein that brings blood to the heart so it can be pumped to the lungs to get oxygen) below your diaphragm.
- T3c means the tumor extends into the vena cava above your diaphragm or it has invaded the wall of the vena cava.
- T4 means the tumor invasion has gone beyond Gerota’s fascia.
N is for Nodes.The number after the N indicates whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and to what extent.
- NX means the regional lymph nodes cannot be assessed.
- N0 means there is no cancer in the lymph nodes in the region of the cancer.
- N1 means there has been metastasis to regional lymph nodes.
M is for Metastasis. The number after the M indicates whether the cancer has spread to distant areas of the body.
- M0 means there is no distant metastasis.
- M1 means the cancer has metastasized to at least one site distant from the kidney.
|Stage IV||T4||Any N||M0|
|Any T||Any N||M1|