Kidney cancer: 4 stages of this deadly disease


Kidney cancer is a cancer that begins in the kidneys, which are vital organs that filter waste products from the blood and produce urine. According to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) data, kidney cancer is one of the top 10 cancers in India, accounting for about 2-3% of all cancer cases. The incidence of kidney cancer is slightly higher in men than in women, and is most commonly diagnosed in people between the ages of 50 and 70.
Kidney cancer is staged based on how advanced the cancer is and how far it has spread in the body. Staging is an essential aspect of cancer diagnosis as it helps determine the extent and spread of the disease, which is critical to treatment planning and prognosis.
There are four stages of kidney cancer, and each stage requires different treatments and has different prognosis.

Stage 1 Kidney Cancer

Dr. Vikram Kalra, Consultant, Department of Nephrology, CK Birla Hospital (R), Delhi says, “To stage 1 kidney cancer is the earliest stage and the tumor is generally small, usually less than 7cm in diameter. the cancer is confined to the kidney and has not spread to nearby lymph nodes or other organs.Surgery is the most common treatment for stage 1 kidney cancer, and in many cases the entire kidney can be removed through a procedure called a nephrectomy.In some cases, a partial nephrectomy, which removes only the part of the kidney that contains the tumor.The five-year survival rate for stage 1 kidney cancer is about 81%.

Stage 2 Kidney Cancer

In stage 2 kidney cancer, the tumor is larger than 7 cm but still confined to the kidney. Surgery is also the main treatment for stage 2 kidney cancer, but depending on the size and location of the tumor, a partial nephrectomy may not be possible. In some cases, a radical nephrectomy, in which the entire kidney and surrounding tissue is removed, may be required. The five-year survival rate for stage 2 kidney cancer is about 74%.

Stage 3 Kidney Cancer

According to dr. Kalra: “In stage 3 kidney cancer, the tumor has spread beyond the kidney and has invaded nearby lymph nodes or other tissues, such as the adrenal gland or the vena cava (the large vein that returns blood from the lower body to the kidneys). to the heart). The five-year survival rate for stage 3 kidney cancer is about 53%. Treatment for stage 3 kidney cancer may involve surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these treatments.”

Stage 4 Kidney Cancer

Stage 4 kidney cancer is the most advanced stage, and the cancer at this stage has spread to other organs, such as the lungs, liver, or bones. The five-year survival rate for stage 4 kidney cancer is about 8%. Treatment for stage 4 kidney cancer may include surgery, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or a combination of these treatments. Palliative care may also be provided to help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

Early detection is key

Several tests and procedures are used to accurately stage cancer. However, the tests may vary depending on the type and location of the cancer. Here are some common tests and procedures used for cancer screening:
Imaging tests: “Various imaging techniques provide detailed images of the body to assess the size, location, and any spread of the tumor to nearby lymph nodes or distant organs. These tests may include X-rays, CT scan, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan, Ultrasound,” says Dr. Kalra.
Biopsy: In a biopsy, a small piece of tissue is removed from the suspected tumor or affected area. The tissue is then examined under a microscope to confirm the presence of cancer cells and determine the tumor type. Biopsy results are crucial for accurate staging.
Blood tests: Blood tests may be performed to evaluate specific markers or substances in the blood that may indicate the presence of cancer or provide information about organ function. For example, certain blood tests can measure levels of tumor markers associated with specific cancers.
Endoscopy: dr. Says Kalra, “This procedure uses a thin, flexible tube with a camera (endoscope) to visualize and examine the internal organs. Endoscopy can help identify the location, size and extent of tumors, particularly in cancers affecting the gastrointestinal tract, bladder or respiratory system.”
Lymph node biopsy: In some cases, a biopsy may be performed on nearby lymph nodes to determine if the cancer has spread to these lymph nodes.
Surgical staging: Depending on the cancer type and stage, surgical procedures may be performed to investigate the extent of the disease and gather additional information. This may involve removing nearby lymph nodes or other tissue for examination.

The takeaway meals

Kidney cancer is a major health problem in India with a significant proportion of cancers originating in the kidneys. That’s why it’s important to understand the stages of kidney cancer and their treatments. Early detection and treatment can increase the chances of a successful outcome, especially in the early stages of the disease. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of the symptoms of kidney cancer, such as blood in the urine, a lump or swelling in the abdomen, fatigue, unexplained weight loss and fever, and to seek immediate medical attention if any of these symptoms occur . prevent. Regular checkups with a doctor can also help detect kidney cancer early, especially in high-risk individuals, such as people with a family history of kidney cancer, smokers, and people with certain genetic mutations.


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