http://youtu.be/8_1Qg9_OMKM Click on http://stayhealthyvideos.com/kidneydisease to learn more about kidney health in general. Click on http://stayhealthyvideos.com/kidneydiet to get detailed information about a kidney healthy diet. Transcript: Kidney Cancer Stages Kidney cancer stage descriptions are a standard means of recognizing how far a case of kidney cancer has progressed. The doctor can use kidney cancer staging as a way of determining the best course of treatment for anyone who has cancer of the kidney. The stage basically reflects how much the cancer has spread. Is it present only in the kidney itself, or have some of the cells broken away and affected the lymph nodes or even other organs of the body? There are a variety of factors that medical professionals use to evaluate the kidney cancer stage. Once all these factors are evaluated, your doctor will assign a number from 1 through 4 to your case. Sometimes Roman numerals I, II, III, and IV will be used instead. This practice is more common with doctors than with the general public. Generally speaking, you can also calculate a patient's 5-year survival rate based on the kidney cancer stage once you know it. Every case is different, of course, but research through the years has shown that someone who has kidney cancer stage 1 is more likely to survive for a longer period of time than someone at stage 4. Here is a brief description of each kidney cancer stage. Stage 1 - The cancer area is less than 7 centimeters across, or approximately 2.8 inches. It is still localized, that is, completely inside the kidney. Stage 2 - The cancer has grown and exceeded 7 centimeters, or 2.8 inches. However, it is still located within the kidney and has not spread. Stage 3 - The cancer has become more dangerous because it has spread into the adrenal gland, or possibly a major vein in the area. At this stage it can also be found in no more than one lymph node. Stage 4 - Stage 4 is advanced kidney cancer and is at a very dangerous stage. Cancer cells have spread into more than one lymph node, or into some of the tissues that surround the kidney or even to a distant organ or part of the body. This process is known as metastasis. The stage 4 kidney cancer life expectancy for five years is quite low. The five-year survival rate is slightly less than one in ten. Another important way to describe the progression of kidney cancer is by assigning a grade to it. This grade is determined by the appearance of the cancer cells under the microscope. If the cells closely resemble normal kidney cells, a lower grade is assigned. The more abnormal they look, the higher the grade. This diagnosis is important because it will help your doctor evaluate how quickly the cancer is likely to spread. High grade cancers are more likely to spread quickly. In summary, kidney cancer stages give doctors a helpful tool they can use to decide on the best course of treatment for the disease. The main determinant for deciding which treatment is most likely to bring a positive outcome is whether the cancer has metastasized, meaning whether it spread away from the kidney or not.