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27

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Kidney Cancer, Version 1.2017

3

Cancer staging

Kidney cancer stages

M = Metastasis

The M score tells you if the cancer has spread to

distant sites. Kidney cancer tends to spread to the

lungs, liver, brain, bones, and distant lymph nodes.

M scores for kidney cancer include:

†

†

M0

means the cancer has not spread to distant

sites.

†

†

M1

means the cancer has spread to distant

sites.

Kidney cancer stages

The kidney cancer stages are labeled by Roman

numerals I to IV. Kidney cancers of the same stage

tend to have a similar outcome (prognosis) and thus

are treated in a similar way. In general, earlier cancer

stages have better outcomes. But, doctors define

cancer stages with information from thousands

of patients, so a cancer stage gives an average

outcome. It may not tell the outcome for one person.

Some people will do better than expected. Others will

do worse. Other factors not used for cancer staging,

such as your general health, are also very important.

The kidney cancer stage groupings are described

next. The stage groupings are defined by the TNM

scores according to the AJCC staging system.

Stage I kidney cancer

T1, N0, M0:

The tumor is only in the kidney and is

not larger than 7 cm (T1). Cancer has not spread to

nearby lymph nodes (N0) or to other tissues in the

body nearby or far away (M0).

Stage II kidney cancer

T2, N0, M0:

The tumor is larger than 7 cm but is still

only in the kidney (T2). Cancer has not spread to

nearby lymph nodes (N0) or to other tissues in the

body nearby or far away (M0).

Stage III kidney cancer

T3, N1 or N0, M0:

The tumor extends beyond the

kidney into certain nearby tissues (T3). Cancer may

or may not have spread to nearby lymph nodes (N1

or N0), but it has not spread to distant sites (M0).

The tumor has not grown into the adrenal gland or

beyond Gerota’s fascia.

T1 or T2, N1, M0:

The tumor is only in the kidney

(T1 or T2), but cancer has spread to nearby lymph

nodes (N1). Cancer has not spread to other tissues

in the body nearby or far away (M0). The tumor has

not grown into the adrenal gland or beyond Gerota’s

fascia.

Stage IV kidney cancer

T4, N1 or N0, M0:

The tumor has grown beyond

Gerota’s fascia and maybe into the adrenal gland

(T4). Cancer may or may not have spread to nearby

lymph nodes (N1 or N0). Cancer has not spread to

distant sites in the body (M0).

T1-T4, N1 or N0, M1:

The tumor is of any size and

may or may not extend beyond the kidney (T1-T4).

Cancer may or may not have spread to nearby lymph

nodes (N1 or N0). But, cancer has spread to distant

sites in the body (M1).