- How is kidney cancer treated?
- Surgery for kidney cancer
- Other local treatments for kidney cancer
- Active surveillance for kidney cancer
- Radiation therapy for kidney cancer
- Targeted therapies for kidney cancer
- Biologic therapy (immunotherapy) for kidney cancer
- Chemotherapy for kidney cancer
- Pain control for kidney cancer
- Clinical trials for kidney cancer
- Complementary and alternative therapies after kidney cancer
How is kidney cancer treated?
After the cancer is found and staged, your doctor will talk with you about your treatment options. It’s important to take time and think about your choices. One of the most important factors is the stage of your cancer. Other things to take into account include your overall health, the likely side effects of the treatment, the chances of curing the disease, helping you live longer, or relieving symptoms.
If you have kidney cancer, your treatment options may include:
- Ablation and other local therapies
- Active surveillance
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapy
- Immunotherapy (biologic therapy)
Sometimes, more than one of type of treatment might be used.
It’s important to discuss all of your options and their possible side effects with your doctors to help you choose the best fit for you. (See the section “What should I ask my doctor about kidney cancer?” for some questions to ask.) When time allows, getting a second opinion is often a good idea. It can give you more information and help you feel good about the treatment plan you choose.
Based on your treatment options, you might have different types of doctors on your treatment team. These could include:
- A urologist: a surgeon who treats diseases of the urinary system (and male reproductive system)
- A radiation oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with radiation
- A medical oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with medicines such as chemotherapy
Many other specialists might be part of your treatment team as well. See Health Professionals Associated With Cancer Care for more on this.
Last Medical Review: 04/29/2014
Last Revised: 01/13/2015