Kidney Cancer Treatment

Kidney Cancer Treatment

Kidney cancer treatment is needed to treat cancer of the kidneys, which are a pair of fist-sized organs located in the abdomen and responsible for the production of urine that removes waste from the blood and other substances that control blood pressure. This year it is estimated that approximately 58,000 new cases of kidney cancer will be diagnosed, with the majority of cases occuring in people over the age of 35.

There are three types of kidney cancer

Renal cell carcinoma
The first, called renal cell carcinoma, forms in the tubes in the kidney that work to filter blood and remove waste.
Renal pelvis carcinoma
The second, known as renal pelvis carcinoma, forms in the middle of the kidney where urine is stored.
Wilms tumor
Finally, there is Wilms tumor, which is a childhood cancer that usually occurs in children under five years old.

Kidney Cancer Treatment Options

Kidney cancer treatment options largely depend on the type (renal cell, renal pelvis or Wilms tumor) as well as the stage of cancer at diagnosis, but typically can include one or more of the following:

Surgery for Kidney Cancer Treatment
Most cancers of the kidney are treated with one of two types of surgery. In a radial nephrectomy, which can be done as full surgery or as a laparoscopic procedure, the entire kidney along with the adrenal gland is removed. A partial nephrectomy occurs when only the portion of the kidney that is affected by the cancer is removed. In any of these surgeries, surrounding lymph nodes also may be removed to check to see if the cancer has spread beyond the kidney.
Radiation Therapy and Chemotherapy Kidney Cancer Treatment
These types of therapy are not usually given for the kidney cancer treatment because research shows that this type of cancer does not respond well to either therapy. However, radiation therapy may be given to people who are not candidates for surgery, or used to help alleviate pain when the cancer has spread beyond the kidneys.
Targeted Therapy Kidney Cancer Treatment
These types of therapies are designed to attack or interfere with specific genes or cells that have been shown to help with the growth of certain cancers. Drugs such as Afinitor, Sutent, Torisel, and Votrient are treatments used for advanced kidney cancer, meaning the cancer has spread beyond the kidney and likely hasn’t responded to other traditional treatments.
Immunotherapy Kidney Cancer Treatment
This is a type of kidney cancer treatment that uses the body’s own immune system to attack the kidney cancer cells. Prior to the development of targeted therapies, immunotherapy was the most common treatment for advanced kidney cancer, but because of the harsh side effects, it is usually given if targeted therapies do not stop the progression of the cancer.


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