Kidney Cancer Basics: Treatment


If you have been diagnosed with kidney cancer, after all the necessary assessments and examinations are made, your doctor will determine which treatment is best for the tumor that you have.
In order to give the kidney cancer treatment decision correctly, the treatment option that is considered appropriate for you will be explained to you and also discussed with you.

For more information about the diagnosis of Kidney Cancer, you can read:
Kidney Cancer Basics: Diagnosis


There are pros and benefit or cons and as well as side effects of all treatment options.
In addition, the same treatment may not give the same results in every patient.
Therefore, you should be aware of the treatment options and know enough information about them. You should decide by weighing according to the advantage and disadvantage.

Treatments in kidney cancer can be examined mainly as local and systemic therapies under two main headings. These treatments are sometimes applied separately, also, sometimes they can be applied by mixing in the same patient. The topics of how and by whom treatments are applied and how to decide which treatment or taking part in a clinical trial are of utmost importance.

Also sometimes they can be applied by mixing in the same patient. The topics of how and by whom treatments are applied and how to decide which treatment or taking part in a clinical trial are of utmost importance.

Local Treatments

Local treatment refers to treatments that are applied to treat only the tumor without affecting any other part of the body. This type of treatment is usually can be performed only in early-diagnosed and early-stage tumors. However, it can be used in some other cases outside of these situations.

kindey cancer, cancers, kidney, cancer, treatment, treatment of kidney cancer, kidney cancer treatment, clinical trials, clinical, tumor, renal tumor, renal cell carcinoma, treatment of renal cell carcinoma, nephrectomy, renal cell, patients

a. Surgery

In many cases of kidney cancer, surgery is the main treatment. The rate of survival with kidney cancer without surgical treatment is extremely low. Especially in patients with cancer limited to kidney, surgical removal of cancer from kidney helps patients to live longer. However, surgical treatment may be also important in patients with kidney cancer spread to other parts of the body. Surgical treatments can vary between removal of the tumor itself with some of the surrounding kidney tissue (partial nephrectomy) and removal of whole of the kidney (radical nephrectomy) according to the location and stage of cancer.

For more information about the metastasis of Kidney Cancer, you can read:
Kidney Cancer Basics: Metastasis


b. Ablation and other local treatments

In patients in whom surgical treatment which is the primary treatment for kidney cancer, cannot be performed, other options to destroy the tumor are considered.

Although these treatments can give very good results in some patients, there is still no sufficient data on how well this option work over time.

c. Active surveillance

Another option that can be choose in patients with renal tumors less than 4 cm is to carefully watch the tumor without any treatment, whether the it is growing or not. If the tumor grows rapidly or reaches a size of more than 4 cm, it is removed or other treatment options are considered.

This option is often used in patients which other treatment options cannot be considered because of health status or in elderly patients. Before deciding to apply this treatment option, biopsy is performed to confirm that if the tumor a real cancer.

d. Radiation therapy

Renal cancers are highly susceptible tumors to radiotherapy.

However, it is rarely used if the patient is not suitable for surgery.

Radiotherapy in patients with kidney cancer is used to palliate, symptoms such as pain or bleeding and metastasis (especially to brain and bone) related problems.

Systemic Treatments

Kidney cancer can also be treated orally or parenteral with the drugs given to the bloodstream. This is called systemic therapies, since these drugs can reach all of the cells in the whole body, not only the kidney cancer cells.

Different treatment options can be used depending on the type of kidney cancer.

kindey cancer, cancers, kidney, cancer, treatment, treatment of kidney cancer, kidney cancer treatment, clinical trials, clinical, tumor, renal tumor, renal cell carcinoma, treatment of renal cell carcinoma, nephrectomy, renal cell, patients

a. Targeted therapy

As a result of developments in the world of science, much more information about molecules and genetics was acquired.

Consequently, a number of therapies developed directly targeting cancer-causing cells. These targeted drugs are different from standard chemotherapy drugs in this sense. Sometimes, they can provide treatment when standard chemotherapy drugs are not effective.

b. Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is use of drugs to stimulate the human’s own immune system to recognize and to destroy cancer cells. In this sense, there are several immunotherapy treatment options that can be used for the treatment of kidney cancer

c. Chemotherapy

Chemoterapy means that the giving anti-cancer medicine orally or parenterally to the bloodstream. Since the drugs are given to the bloodstream, they do not reach only the kidney cancer cells but the whole body. In this sense, it is particularly useful in patients with metastatic kidney cancer which means extended cancer to other parts of the body. However, there are many systemic side effects of this treatment.

Nevertheless, kidney cancer is not chemo-sensitive, so chemotherapy is not the standard therapy for this malignancy.

Common Approaches in Treatment

Depending on the stage and type of kidney cancer, different combinations of treatments can be applied at the same time or used after one another.

For more information about the stages of Kidney Cancer, you can read:
Kidney Cancer Basics: Stages


If the cancer cannot be completely removed, some of these treatments can be used as palliative. Palliative treatment is means that treatment of some symptoms such as pain. But this treatment does not cure the cancer.

Team Work  

Treatment of kidney cancer is an issue where many different specialists work together.

kindey cancer, cancers, kidney, cancer, treatment, treatment of kidney cancer, kidney cancer treatment, clinical trials, clinical, tumor, renal tumor, renal cell carcinoma, treatment of renal cell carcinoma, nephrectomy, renal cell, patients

Some of those;

  • Urologist: A specialized physician to treat urinary system diseases
  • Radiation oncologist: A doctor who treats cancer with radiation therapy
  • Medical oncologist: A doctor who treats cancer with drugs such as chemotherapy or targeted therapy

Apart from these, your treatment team may include physician assistants (PAs), nurse practitioners (NPs), nurses, psychologists, nutritionists, social workers and other health professionals.

Considering Alternatives and Making Decision

It is extremely important to discuss and examine in detail all treatment options with your doctors and health professionals. After receiving a diagnosis of kidney cancer, you may feel compelled to decide quickly. Although it is important to start treatment as soon as possible, you must give yourself time to absorb the information you have learned and make the right decision.

If time permits, getting a second opinion can also help you in the decision-making process. In this way, you may have more information about your chosen treatment plan and be more confident about yourself.

Choosing to Stop Treatment or No Treatment at all

For the treatment of your cancer you may hear some alternative or complementary methods that your doctor does not tell you about. These methods can be vitamins, medicinal herbs, diet or massage.

Complementary methods refer to treatments that are regularly used, as well as cancer treatment.

Alternative methods are the treatments that your doctor recommends instead of medical treatment.

While some of these methods can help you to relieve your symptoms and even cure your cancer, also they can even harm you.

Always consult your cancer care team before starting any treatment that you intend to use as an alternative or complementary. In this way, you can give more accurate decision.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *