Kidney Cancer Treatment Methods

Kidney cancer may be of several types depending on its affect on which part of the kidney.

The kidney cancer in adults differs with that of kidney cancer in children.

The common type of renal cell cancer and the less common is the transitional cell cancer.

Let us first find out the causes of kidney cancer before finding the information on various kidney cancer treatment methods.

Causes of Kidney Cancer

Age is considered to be the major risk factor for kidney cancer. According to the studies it is found that kidney cancer affects people above 50 and below 70. It is more common among the men than women. The other causes of kidney cancer may include:

  • Tobacco use and Smoking may prove to be a cause of kidney cancer.
  • The risk factor which is considered in females rather than males is over weight or Obesity
  • Certain environmental and occupational hazards also prove a threat to develop kidney cancer. For example exposure to asbestos and people working in steel plants have above-average rates of kidney cancer
  • Exposure to radiation and the use of phenacetin drug.
  • Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease: Researchers have found that people who have this inherited disorder are at greater risk of developing renal cell carcinoma, as well as tumors in other organs.

Kidney Cancer Treatment

The common methods of Kidney cancer treatment are surgery, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, or hormone therapy. In few cases apart from these standard treatment methods a special treatment called arterial embolization is used. (Vaccination for Kidney Cancer)

These methods may be used in combination or single depending on the stage of the cancer and the overall condition of the patient.

Kidney Cancer Surgery

This method of kidney cancer treatment involves the removal of the entire kidney if the disease is confined to the kidney. Another surgical procedure is the radical nephrectomy which involves the removal of the kidney along with the adrenal gland. Recent surgical treatment aims to remove the tumor rather than the entire kidney for better survival rate.

Radiation therapy

This method of kidney cancer treatment involves the exposure of the tumor of the diseased area to high power radiations. Usually radiation therapy for this disease involves external radiation, which comes from radioactive material outside the body.

The radiation is confined to the affected area. This procedure is repeated in regular cycles for a specific period of time depending on the stage of the disease and condition of the patient.

Immunotherapy or Biological therapy

This treatment uses the body’s immune system to fight cancer. An oncologist may administer a substance known as a biological response modifier, such as interferon or interleukin-2.

Normally produced by the body, these substances are also made in laboratories. Biological response modifiers can have serious side effects, including chills, fever, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite.


Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. Although useful in the treatment of many other cancers, chemotherapy has shown only limited effectiveness in kidney cancer treatment. However, researchers continue to study new drugs and new drug combinations that may prove to be more useful.

Hormone therapy

In advanced cases of the disease this method of kidney cancer treatment is used. In few cases the disease is treated with hormones which try to control the growth of cancer cells. More often, it is used as palliative therapy.