How are primary tumors (T) defined in the TNM staging of renal cell carcinoma (RCC)?

Updated: May 21, 2019
  • Author: Kush Sachdeva, MD; Chief Editor: E Jason Abel, MD  more...
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Answer

Primary tumors (T) are defined as the following:

  • TX – Primary tumor cannot be assessed

  • T0 – No evidence of primary tumor

  • T1 – Tumor 7 cm or smaller in greatest dimension, limited to the kidney 

    • T1a - Tumor is 4 cm or smaller

    • T1b - Tumor is 4 - 7 cm in greatest dimension

  • T2 – Tumor larger than 7 cm in greatest dimension, limited to the kidney

    • T2a - Tumor is 7 - 10 cm in greatest dimension

    • T2b - Tumor is more than 10 cm in greatest dimension

  • T3 – Tumor extends into major veins or invades adrenal gland or perinephric tissues but not beyond the Gerota fascia

    • T3a – Tumor invades adrenal gland or perinephric tissues but not beyond the Gerota fascia

    • T3b – Tumor grossly extends into the renal vein(s) or vena cava below the diaphragm

    • T3c – Tumor grossly extends into the renal vein(s) or vena cava above the diaphragm

  • T4 – Tumor invading beyond the Gerota fascia


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