Kidney cancer TNM staging helps to determine the disease prognosis and to select an appropriate treatment strategy. It is the most commonly used system for staging kidney cancers.
“T” stands for “Tumor Size”, “N” for “Lymph Nodes”, and “M” for “Metastasis”. Numbers and/or letters after T (1, 2, 3, and 4), N (0 and 1), and M (0 and 1) provide more details about each of these factors. Once T, N, and M categories are determined, this information is combined to assign an overall stage (from I to IV).
T1 – Tumor is limited to kidney and measures </=7 cm in largest dimension.
T2 – Tumor is limited to kidney and measures >7 cm in largest dimension.
T3 – Tumor has extended up to a renal vein (or its branches) or has spread to inferior vena cava; or the fatty tissue around the kidney, but not to the adrenal gland or beyond Gerota’s fascia.
T4 – The tumor has extended beyond the Gerota’s fascia and may be up to the adrenal gland.
N0 – No spread of disease to nearby lymph nodes or distant body organs.
N1 – Cancer has spread to regional lymph nodes
M0 – Cancer has not spread to distant body organs.
M1 – Cancer has spread to distant body organs like the brain, bones, lungs, liver, peritoneum, etc.
Kidney Cancer TNM Staging:
Watch the video below where Cancerbro explains the TNM STAGING of kidney cancer.
Now let us discuss the kidney cancer T staging.
It is called as T1 when the tumor is 7 cm or less in the greatest dimension and is limited to the kidney.
It is called as T2 when the tumor is greater than 7 cm in the greatest dimension and is limited to the kidney.
T3 includes cases in which the tumor extends to renal vein and its segmental branches, or renal sinus fat.
T3 also includes cases in which the tumor extends into the perirenal fat, but not beyond Gerota’s Fascia, as you can see in this figure.
Extension of the tumor into inferior vena cava is also T3.
And when the tumor extends beyond the Gerota’s Fascia, as you can see in the figure, it is called as T4.
Infiltration of the adrenal gland is also T4.
Now, lets come to the N-staging or nodal staging of kidney cancer. Involvement of regional lymph nodes of the kidney, as you can see in this figure, is called as N1.
And lastly, we come to the M-staging or the metastatic staging of kidney cancer. This figure shows multiple metastatic deposits in the liver.
And here cancer has spread to the lungs in form of multiple nodular deposits.
It may also spread to the peritoneum in the form of peritoneal deposits, as you can see in this figure.
Metastatic deposits in the adrenal gland without direct extension of a tumor may also be seen.
Sometimes, it may also spread to the brain or bones.
So with this, we come to the end of TNM staging for renal cancer.
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