Using the latest treatment options for kidney cancer.
Your treatment begins with your Legacy Cancer Institute doctor recommending a plan based on expert guidelines, called protocols. Your treatment is determined by:
- The type of tumor
- The location of the tumor
- The extent of the disease, called the stage
- Any tests you have had during diagnosis
- A discussion about what is right for you
Meet our providers
Kidney cancer treatment options
There are several types of treatment for kidney cancer (also called renal cell cancer), and many people undergo a combination of treatments. In some cases, your doctor may recommend “active surveillance,” which means you are followed closely and your cancer is monitored.
Surgery: There are three surgeries most often used for kidney cancer:
- Removal of some of the kidney tissue and tissue around it (partial nephrectomy)
- Removal of the kidney (simple nephrectomy)
- Removal of the kidney plus the adrenal gland and possibly nearby lymph nodes (radical nephrectomy).
Kidney cancer surgery may be done robotically; this approach may reduce pain and recovery time.
- Interventional radiology: Doctors use images from CT, X-ray, ultrasound, MRI or other tests to guide the tools needed to perform thermal ablation or renal cryoablation. Ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that uses cold energy to destroy the cancer in the kidney. Ablation is usually an outpatient procedure, although some patients may stay overnight. This treatment may be an option for people who are not good candidates for surgery.
- Radiation: is the use of X-rays to destroy cancer cells. Radiation is rarely used to treat kidney cancer
- Chemotherapy: Is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells throughout the body.
Talk to your doctor about these and other options for treating kidney cancer. There may also be a clinical trial (research study) for which you are eligible. Researchers are discovering new therapies for treating cancer all the time, giving doctors new resources for your care.
What happens next
Many cancer treatments can cause challenging side effects. Your cancer team is dedicated to helping you manage these symptoms in the best ways possible. Comfort care can treat symptoms to help improve your quality of life; this is also called palliative care.
To see how well your treatment is working, some of the tests used to diagnose and stage your cancer may be repeated. Your doctor uses these tests to decide whether to stop, change or continue treatment based on the results. These tests can also determine if cancer has returned. Whenever possible, we work to stop the growth of cancer and reduce the chance of cancer coming back.
Working together for you
Our cancer experts work together with a common goal: delivering the right care for you.
A range of specialists collaborate regularly in meetings called tumor boards to discuss the best plan for your care. Your treatment plan is made just for you, depending on your general health, your age, your particular cancer and its growth.
You are not alone. Legacy offers support throughout your cancer journey, as well as care for your emotional, social and spiritual needs.