Kidney (Renal) Cancer Treatment
Treatments for kidney cancer include:
- Surgery to remove the tumor (standard treatment)
- Non-surgical options including CyberKnife radiosurgery therapy
Kidney cancer treatment options
Surgery is the most common treatment for kidney cancer. The most common surgery for treating kidney cancer is a radical nephrectomy. This procedure removes the kidney, surrounding tissue and adrenal gland. Depending on the case, the surgeon may also remove the lymph nodes. Modern radical nephrectomies are now performed laparoscopically (a minimally invasive surgical method) through several small incisions.
A simple nephrectomy surgery removes only the kidney.
A partial nephrectomy is performed in patients with small tumors or when a surgeon determines that a radical nephrectomy may result in the patient not having enough residual kidney function if a whole kidney is removed. The type of surgery will be determined based on the cancer stage and overall health of the patient.
Non-surgical treatments — including CyberKnife — are considered when the patient cannot undergo surgery, is not felt to be a good candidate for surgery, or when the patient refuses surgery. The treatment options for these patients may include:
- Radiofrequency ablation – high-energy radio waves destroy the cancerous cells.
- Cryotherapy – uses a cold gas inserted through a needle to freeze-kill the tumor.
- Arterial embolization – material is infused through a catheter into an artery that blocks blood flow to the tumor and inhibits its growth.
There has not been enough evidence gathered on these non-surgical treatments to classify them as standard treatment options.
CyberKnife radiation treatment for kidney cancer
CyberKnife is an excellent alternative to cancer surgery and traditional radiation therapy. The CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System is the most advanced system for the delivery of radiosurgery, a form of therapy that precisely focuses radiation on tumors or other conditions in one to five treatments. Its advantage over other therapies is that it can target and treat an abnormal area of the body with minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue, which is the primary cause of cancer treatment side effects.