Cancer Home > Kidney Cancer Stages

If you have kidney cancer, it's important to know the stage of the disease in order to plan treatment. These stages include stages I through IV and recurrent cases of the cancer. Tests and procedures that are used to determine the stage of your cancer may include a computed tomography (CT) scan, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, a chest x-ray, and a bone scan.

An Overview of Kidney Cancer Stages

If the doctor makes a kidney cancer diagnosis, he or she will need to determine the stage, or extent, of the disease in order to plan treatment. Staging is an attempt to find out the size of the tumor, whether the kidney cancer has spread, and if so, to what parts of the body.
For purposes of this article, the term "kidney cancer" refers to renal cell carcinoma (also known as renal cell cancer), the most common type of kidney cancer. To learn about the stages of other types of kidney cancer, see the following eMedTV articles:

Staging Tests for Kidney Cancer

Tests and procedures that are used to determine the kidney cancer stage include:
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
  • Chest x-ray
  • Bone scan.
Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
A CT scan is a procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, taken from different angles. A computer linked to an x-ray machine will create these pictures. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly. This procedure is also called computerized tomography or computerized axial tomography (CAT).
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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