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Treating Kidney Cancer

Treating Renal Cell Carcinoma – What to Expect

Your urologist will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that will provide targeted, advanced therapy to ensure the best possible outcome. Our physicians have extensive experience in some of the most advanced treatments for kidney cancer including minimally invasive surgery, which provides you with a quicker recovery, less pain, and fewer surgical complications.


The standard treatment for renal cell carcinoma is surgery, which is performed in the hospital.

The following procedures can be performed through various approaches including laparoscopically or robotically, where several small incisions replace one larger one to promote less pain and faster recovery:

  • Nephrectomy – Removal of the whole kidney
  • Partial nephrectomy – Removal of only the cancerous part of the kidney. Studies have shown that this approach can be just as effective as a radical nephrectomy for many patients with early-stage disease.

Alternatives to Surgery for Localized Disease

  • Active surveillance – Deferring treatment and actively monitoring the tumor to assess its growth pattern
  • Cryosurgery – Freezing the cancer cells to destroy them, using a needle either inserted through the skin or at the time of laparoscopy
  • Radiofrequency ablation – Using a type of heat energy to destroy the cancer cells

In more advanced cases of kidney cancer or in patients with metastases, we utilize targeted therapy which is a milder form of chemotherapy used to slow the growth of the tumor.

Every cancer is unique, just as you are, and your urologist will discuss which treatment is right for you. Your treatment will depend on a number of factors, including your age and overall health, the size and location of the tumor, and the extent to which the cancer has spread.