Understanding Your Kidney Cancer Treatment Options

Kidney cancer, also known as renal cancer, is a serious disease in which malignant cells form in the tissues of the kidney. It is a relatively uncommon type of cancer, but the number of cases has been increasing. The good news is that kidney cancer is often treatable, particularly if it is diagnosed at an early stage. That is why regular testing of high-risk individuals is so important. If you have been recently diagnosed with kidney cancer then it is important to talk with a doctor about your potential kidney cancer treatment options. The main three options for you to decide from generally include the following, and it is important to become familiar with them so you can make an informed choice.

Surgical Removal

Surgical removal of cancer in your kidney is a popular option for many reasons. If you are healthy enough to undergo this option, it has a very high success rate and can be the most immediate and holistic way to treat cancer. There are whole and partial kidney removals, depending on how far along the cancer is and its location, but due to the fact you have two kidneys, the long-term impact of either of these options can be minimized. If your doctor thinks this is the kidney cancer treatment route you should go down, then that is good news and something you should consider.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy relies on high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. It can be used to shrink a tumor before surgery or to help control any remaining cancer cells after surgery. This is a common trend you will see with kidney cancer treatment; several options are used together. There are external and internal radiation options. External radiation therapy uses specialized equipment to use targeted radiation at the required area while internal therapy involves the placement of highly-controlled, radioactive material in close proximity to the cancer. Both have advantages and disadvantages, but in general, are very effective. 


You may not realize this, but kidney cancer is one of the few types of disease that does not respond that well to chemotherapy, which is why that treatment is not on this list. Immunotherapy, on the other hand, has been shown to work as a kidney cancer treatment. Immunotherapy is a type of treatment that helps the body's immune system fight cancer. It is a relatively new type of treatment for kidney cancer, but it has been showing promising results and generally involves the taking of some kind of specialized medication.

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