Kidney Cancer (How Much Time Left)

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  1. Grade of the kidney cancer. The grade is how the cancerous cells appear and look under the microscope. According to a system called the Fuhrman system, there are four levels for the grade of cancer. Grade 4 is the highest score, which means the cancerous cells look very abnormal. The greater grade means the cancer is more likely to grow quickly, more likely to progress aggressively and has greater chance to spread to other areas of the body.
  2. Age of patient! In general, younger patients tend to have better prognosis and live slightly longer than older patients. This is likely to be due to younger patients have better general health, early diagnosis of the disease, and the treatment may also work better.
  3. Performance status (how well patients are)! A performance status score of 0 means you’re good and able to look after yourself on your own. A score of 1 means you may need some help to look after yourself. Greater score of performance status is likely associated with the worse prognosis of the disease.

However again, the stage of the cancer attracts more attention when it comes to the life expectancy (how much time left) for patients with kidney cancer. The statistic may slightly be different from country to country. But in general, the prognosis worsens when the disease has become more advanced.

The following are survival statistics of patients diagnosed with kidney cancer (between 2002 and 2006) in the U.K:

Kidney cancer prognosis (how much time left)
Stage I About 40 percent (40 out of 100 patients) are at stage I when the diagnosis was made.

Stage I means the cancer is still completely inside the kidney. Patients at this stage are usually well enough to take the treatment. They have very good prognosis and outlook. About 80 percent of them will alive at least 5 years after diagnosis.

Stage II About 15 percent (15 out of every 100 cases of kidney cancer) are diagnosed at stage II. Almost 75 percent, 75 out of 100 women, have 5-year survival. And almost 95 percent (95 out of 100 men) will alive at least 5 years or more after diagnosis.

This statistic shows that 5-year survival of stage II is slightly better than stage I (it seems illogical) – researchers think that this occurs due to the fewer number of people diagnosed with stage II than other stages.

Stage III About 25 percent (25 out of every 100 cases) are diagnosed at stage III, when the cancer cells have spread to nearby lymph node.

About 60 percent (60 out of every 100 people with stage III) will survive for at least 5 years after diagnosis. This percentage is similar for both men and women with stage III of kidney cancer.

Stage IV About 20 percent (20 out of every 100 cases) are diagnosed at stage IV, the most advanced stage (when the cancer cells have metastasized to another part of the body).

Stage IV has the worst prognosis and outlook. About only 5 percent (5 out of every 100 cases with stage IV) will survive for 5 years after diagnosis.

Overall, the life expectancy of kidney cancer is pretty good. According to the outlook statistic of people diagnosed with the condition in England and Wales, about 50 percent of them will successfully survive for at least 10 years after diagnosis.

Remember that each case of kidney cancer is unique! In other words, there is no statistic that can exactly tell you what will happen. There are lots of individual factors that may affect the prognosis and outlook of the disease.

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