Is stage 4 kidney cancer serious?

Stage 4 kidney cancer is the fourth and final stage of development of the cancer, so it's very serious. In stage 4 kidney cancer, the tumor on the kidney may be any size, often very large. At this stage, the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Generally, the first areas outside the kidney that are affected are nearby lymph nodes and the major veins connected to the kidneys, but by stage 4, it has often reached distant organs. This means that treatment for stage 4 kidney cancer is complex since it has to address cancer that's not contained within the kidney. This kind of treatment isn't often possible, so stage 4 kidney cancer is usually fatal. The five-year survival rate for stage 4 cancer (meaning the percentage of people who, after treatment, will live at least five years following diagnosis) is only 8%.

Continue Learning about Kidney (Renal Cell) Cancer

Kidney (Renal Cell) Cancer

Uncommon in individuals under the age of 45, renal cell carcinoma affects our bodys natural filtration system, the kidneys.The most common type of kidney cancer, renal cell carcinoma typically begins as a small tumor that grows la...

rger over time. Although the cancer doesnt always cause immediate symptoms, see your doctor immediately if you notice blood in your urine, a key warning sign called hematuria. Although 3 other kidney cancers exist, renal cell carcinoma accounts for 9 out of 10 cases. You have a higher risk of developing a kidney cancer if you have an advanced kidney disease or a family history of kidney cancer, are exposed to certain chemicals like asbestos or have certain genetic conditions. Kidney cancer is often found by accident; this is because tumors can grow large without causing symptoms and small tumors can be difficult to see in CT scans or MRIs. Still, if youre at risk for this cancer, a CT scan or MRI may help a doctor catch the cancer early.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.