Kidney cancer occurs in various forms in different patients. The most commonly occurring kind of this cancer is termed as Renal Cells Carcinoma. Other commonly diagnosed form is the Urothelial Cells Carcinoma of renal pelvis. In all the forms, cancer first develops within the primary organ as one of the 2 kidneys and then metastasizes to other locations in the patient’s body.
Cancer of various organs of the urinary system usually progresses in four stages. In Stages I and II, the malignant renal tumors are nearly 6-7 cm in size and remain confined to the kidneys, which is their primary location. As this cancer progresses to Stage Three, the blood vessels around the kidneys get destroyed by the growing tumor.
Stage Three of this deadly cancer is thus marked by damaged blood vessels in and around kidneys and the metastasis of the malignant tumor cells from affected kidneys to the lymph nodes in close vicinity, blood vessels, adrenal glands, and the surrounding kidney fat. Based on the T, N, M staging of cancer, Stage 3 can be further divided into following two sub-stages:
- Stage Three (M0, N0; T3a-T3c): At this stage, the tumor expands from its primary organ (kidney) to the adjacent adrenal gland, surrounding fats, vena cava, and renal veins. In this sub-stage, the growing tumor does not expand beyond Gerota’s fascia. It does not affect the distant organs or the lymph node at this point of time.
- Stage 3 (M0, N1; T1a-T3c): As Stage 3 progresses further, the tumor spreads beyond Gerota’s fascia into the lymph nodes in the vicinity of the organ. At this stage, the tumor can be expected to be of no particular size. However, no distant organs are affected by the cancer at this point of time.
It is in Stage Four that the rapidly dividing malignant cells of kidneys metastasize further than the membranes of primary organ into other distant organs and lymph nodes of the patient’s body.
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