Renal Cell Carcinoma Treatments

Surgical Interventions

Surgery is the first course of action, to remove the cancer cells as quickly and efficiently as possible. This operation, called a nephrectomy, is surgical removal of all or part of the kidney and can include the bladder, nearby tissues and lymph nodes.

Removing the kidney can help relieve pain, and can be followed by other types of treatment. When one kidney is removed, the other kidney will compensate for it, so living a normal life is possible.

The operation can be performed either with a large incision, or by keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery if that’s possible. Read more at laparoscopic surgery

Embolisation: There may be reasons why you can’t have a nephrectomy, but another operation called embolisation may be suitable. This is the insertion of a small tube into your groin, through which a substance that will block the blood supply to your kidney is injected. Without blood flow, tumours are starved of oxygen and nutrients, and will shrink.

Non-surgical treatments

Cancer treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy haven’t proved an effective cure for renal cell carcinoma. However, radiotherapy can help to reduce the symptoms of pain and slow down the growth of the tumour.

Clinical trials of new combinations of chemotherapy medications seem to working for some people.

Read more on Clinical Trials here.

Cryotherapy is a treatment that involves killing cancer cells by freezing them, either needles that planted through the skin, or through needles placed straight into the kidney via a small incision

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) kills the cancer cells with heat created by radiowaves.

Medication: Targeted Therapies

New medicines have been developed for the treatment of cancer. These target and disrupt the functions needed by cancer to grow and spread,

Diagnostic Tests and Procedures

More information can be found on the Diagnostic Tests and Procedures page.