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Kidney cancer - How is it treated?

The most common therapy of kidney cancer is Nephrectomy (surgical removal of the kidney). This is often performed using keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery. Alternatively an open operation (an full incision on the abdomen or side of the body) may be necessary.

Partial Nephrectomy may be possible if the tumour is small and in a place where it can be removed safely with some of the surrounding normal kidney. This may be necessary if there is only one functioning kidney or if you have kidney disease affecting both kidneys.

If the cancer has spread (metastasised) to other organs then surgery alone may not be able to cure the cancer. Your specialist will discuss this in detail with you. Surgery may still be offered as it may help other treatments to work better.

Kidney cancer can spread to a variety of other places. Sometimes surgery can be appropriate to remove the kidney and the deposit if it is feasible. This needs to be talked about very carefully with your specialist.

Newer therapies may be offered such as cryotherapy (freezing tumours), High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) uses high energy sound waves to destroy tumours and Radio-frequency ablation (RFA) uses heat production to destroy tumour tissues.