The moment someone says the word “cancer”, suddenly dark clouds appear. There is a common belief among people that cancer means death. For the most part, there is absolutely no justifiable evidence for the above statement.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally
It is indeed true that cancer is currently one of the most dangerous diseases and it often leads to loss of life. But at the same time, you should be aware that any disease can take your life if you let it grow. The key to ridding yourself of serious suffering such as cancer is to detect it in its early stages.
Kidney cancer is one of the most common types of cancer affecting older people. Early diagnosis means that you can stop the stubborn cancer cells from growing.
Importance of the Kidney
You might understand that a human being can survive without one kidney, but without both, your body is compromised and very soon it’s all over. This single sentence is simple enough, but should be considered with the utmost clarity and importance.
As we know, the kidneys filter the blood and remove impurities from our body. They also help to control blood pressure and ensure that our body contains enough RBCs (red blood cells).
Location of Kidney Cancer
In many cases, the average person is not able to detect the early symptoms of kidney cancer. An important recommendation on our part would be to see a specialist as soon as you start to notice changes in your health.
The sooner you detect abnormalities in kidney function, the better your chances of a prognosis. Similar to other types of cancer, if the disease spreads beyond the kidneys, the treatment of the condition will only become more difficult. Kidney cancer dramatically worsens a person’s health.
Overview of the Stages of Cancer
Cancer is a widespread threat these days. Kidney cancer causes suffering to many people. In this matter, we should share this important prediction of the American Cancer Society.
According to them, about 73,820 people will be diagnosed with kidney cancer and about 14,770 people will die of it. The average age of patients diagnosed is 64 years, and it is rare for a person under 45 to develop kidney cancer. However, some types of kidney cancer can affect younger men.
One of the methods that doctors use to stage kidney cancer is called 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 example, if your doctor tells you that your cancer is T1, N0, M0, this means that you have a small tumor in one kidney that has not yet spread. 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 years. The tumor is relatively small at this stage, which is why it is called T1. The cancerous kidney can be removed in stage 1, and no follow-up treatment is necessary. The chances of recovery are higher in stage 1 kidney cancer.
At this stage, the tumor is larger than 7 centimeters. However, it only occurs in the kidney and is called T2. A stage 2 cancer kidney can be removed and no follow-up treatment is necessary. There is a 74 percent chance of 5-year survival at this stage.
There are two scenarios for stage 3 kidney cancer. Either the tumor has spread into a large vein but has not yet reached the lymph nodes. This is referred to as T3, N0, and M0. For the second scenario, the cancer tumor could be of any size and have spread outside the kidney. It is referred to as T1-T3, N1, M0. At this stage, aggressive treatment is required.
Stage 4 kidney cancer is classified in two ways. Either the tumor has grown larger and has reached tissue beyond the kidney, or it may not have spread yet. The designation for this particular stage is T4, any N, and M0. The probability that people in this stage will survive for 5 years is only 8%.
What to do next?
If you have been diagnosed with kidney cancer, it is best to talk to your doctor at the earliest possible moment and clarify your stage. And the most important thing is to not panic. Remember that even the most complex situations can be overcome with a strong will and a positive attitude.