Renal Cancer Life Expectancy


Renal cancer occurs when cells on one of your kidneys begin to grow uncontrollably, forming tumors. Ultimately, your individual life expectancy after a diagnosis of renal cancer can vary greatly from statistical patterns, but the stage of the cancer and success of treatment contribute to how long you are likely to live.

Stage 1 and 2

  • Stage 1 tumors are 7 cm in size or less, and both Stage 1 and 2 cancer have not moved beyond the kidney, reports the American Cancer Society.

Stage 3 and 4

  • With Stage 3 renal cancer, the tumor affects blood vessels around the kidney. Stage 4 tumors move beyond the membrane around the kidney, affecting lymph nodes or other organs.


  • Five years after diagnosis, approximately 96 percent (Stage 1) and 82 percent (Stage 2) of patients are still alive, reports the American Cancer Society. Stage 3 renal cancer has a 63 percent five-year survival rate; Stage 4 has only a 23 percent survival rate.


  • Your life expectancy may be shortened if complications develop during treatment, such as anemia or high levels of lactate dehydrogenase or calcium in your bloodstream, cautions the American Cancer Society.


  • Your oncologist is able to give you a more individualized picture of your likelihood of recovering from kidney cancer.


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