Kidney Cancer Stages

Kidney Cancer is most often staged using the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) staging system. To determine your AJCC kidney cancer stage, you first need to know three pieces of information about your disease (this is called the TNM system)


refers to the size of the primary tumor; on a pathology report, it may be abbreviated as PT or T;


N refers to whether the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes. On a pathology report:
Nx: means regional (nearby) lymph nodes cannot be assessed by a pathologist because lymph nodes were not suspicious and therefore not resected during surgery.
N0: means regional lymph nodes were resected, but were found to be free of cancer.
N1: means regional lymph nodes were positive for cancer.


M tells you whether the cancer has spread or metastasized to distant organs. On a pathology report:
M0: means there is no spread to distant organs.
M1: means that there is spread to distant organs.

AJCC Stages

t3b RCC

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