First off, a link about staging Kidney Cancer from the American Cancer Society: Detailed Guide: How Is Kidney Cancer (Renal Cell Carcinoma) Staged?.
Next, here’s the deal on my Mom’s cancer, straight from my Dad this morning. My annotations are enclosed in (((triple-parentheses))):
Mom is Stage 4 — based on the fact she has mets to lung and brain. Under TNM system (((American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC), sometimes also known as the TNM system))) she is T1B (((Tumor is larger than 4 cm but smaller than 7 cm (about 2Â¾ inches) and is limited to the kidney))), NX (((Regional lymph nodes cannot be assessed (information not available).))), M1 (((Distant metastasis present; includes metastasis to nonregional (not near the kidney) lymph nodes and/or to other organs (such as the lungs, bones, or brain).))) — which means the tumor was not locally invasive, that the nodes (N) are unknown, and M1 which means metastasis has occurred. Her Karnovsky score (((More about Karnovsky Performance Status))) is perfect — her overall health, and her Furhman grade (((The most widely used and most predictive grading system for renal cell cancer is the “Fuhrman Nuclear Grade”. Your pathology report should use the Fuhrman Grade. Fuhrman grade is on a scale of I-IV, where grade I carries the best prognosis and grade IV the worst. Nuclear grade means that the system is based on just the appearance of the nuclei of the cancer cells, rather than the appearance or structure of the cells as a whole. Nuclear characteristics used in the Fuhrman Grade particularly indicate how actively the cells are making protein. Source.))) — how aggressive tumor looks microscopically — number of mitotic figures, is grade 2 — putting it all together survival should be 80% or better for 5 years. Of course new chemo drugs may improve on this. Dad
This is terrific news, and given my Mother’s amazing attitude, on full display back in this article, I have great hope.