The moment someone utters the word ‘cancer,’ suddenly clouds of gloom surround the environment. There’s a universal belief among people that cancer signifies death. To a large extent, there’s absolutely no justified proof of the above-mentioned statement.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally
It is indeed true that cancer is one of the most dangerous diseases as of now, and it often causes loss of lives. But simultaneously, it should be understood that any disease might take away your life if you let it grow. The key to getting rid of any serious ailments like that of cancer is to detect it at its early stages.
Kidney cancer is one of the common cancer types that affect older people. An early diagnosis means that you can defeat the stubborn cancerous cells from growing.
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Importance of kidney
You would probably understand that without one kidney, a man survives, but without both, your body is impacted, and soon it’s all over. This single sentence is simple enough yet should be considered with utmost clarity and importance.
As we know, kidneys filter the blood and remove impurities from our bodies. It also helps in managing blood pressure and ensuring that our body contains enough quantities of RBC (red blood cells).
Whereabouts of Kidney cancer
In many cases, an average person is unable to detect any early symptoms of kidney cancer. An important recommendation from our end would be to visit any specialist as soon as you start noticing changes in your health conditions.
The faster you detect abnormalities in kidney functioning, the better are your chances of prognosis. Similar to other cancer types, if the disease spreads beyond the kidneys, treating the ailment will only get harder. Kidney cancer causes a person’s health to deteriorate drastically.
Cancer Staging Overview
Cancer is a common threat these days. Kidney cancer causes distress for many people. In this matter, we should share this important prediction that came from the American Cancer Society.
According to them, around 73,820 people will be diagnosed with kidney cancer, and approximately 14,770 people will die of it. The average age of the diagnosed patients is 64 years, and it is rare for a person below 45 years of age to develop kidney cancer. However, some kidney cancer types can affect younger men, as well.
One of the methods that doctors use for staging kidney cancer is known as the TNM system.
- T stands for the size of the primary tumor.
- N denotes how far the cancerous cells have spread to the lymph nodes.
- M indicates if cancer has spread to other organs.
For instance, if your doctor tells you that your cancer is T1, N0, M0, it will mean that you have a small tumor in one kidney, and it hasn’t spread yet. Here are the different TNM designations:
- TX: Tumor isn’t measurable
- T0: Tumor unidentified
- T1: Tumor is in a single kidney and measures less than 7 cm
- T2: Tumor is larger than 7 cm
- T3: Tumor has grown across a major vein
- T4: Tumor has reached beyond the kidney
- NX: Tumor inside the lymph nodes isn’t measurable
- N0: No evidence available that a tumor has spread
- N1 – N3: It has spread to surrounding lymph nodes
- MX: Metastasis isn’t measurable
- M0: It hasn’t spread to other organs
- M1: It has spread
Multiple Stages of Kidney Cancer
It is the least aggressive phase and has the highest survival rate of five-year. The tumor is relatively small during this stage; hence, it is denoted by the designation, T1. The cancerous kidney can be removed in stage 1, and the follow-up therapy isn’t necessary. The chances of recovery are higher in stage 1 kidney cancer.
During this stage, the tumor’s size is larger than 7 centimeters. However, it only appears in the kidney and is denoted by T2. A stage 2 cancerous kidney can be removed, and follow-up therapy isn’t necessary. There’s a 74 percent chance of 5-year survival during this stage.
There are two scenarios involved in stage 3 kidney cancer. Either the tumor has spread to a major vein, yet it hasn’t reached any lymph nodes. This is denoted by T3, N0, and M0. For the second scenario, the cancerous tumor might be of any size and might have spread outside the kidney. It’s considered as T1-T3, N1, M0. Aggressive treatment is required in this stage.
Stage 4 kidney cancer is classified in two manners. Either the tumor has grown larger and reached tissues beyond the kidney. Or else, it might not have just spread yet. The designation for this particular stage is T4, any N, and M0. There’s a mere 8% chance of 5-year survival for people in this stage.
What to do next?
In case you have been diagnosed with kidney cancer, it’s better to speak to your doctor at the earliest and clarify your stage. And, the most important thing here is to avoid panicking. Remember, even the most complex situations can be overcome with a strong will and positive attitude.