Studies show kidney cancer patients and their caregivers involved in their care and treatment decisions lead to a better quality of life.
If you are diagnosed with kidney cancer, a treatment plan will be designed for you by your healthcare team. It is important that you and your physician make informed decisions together after considering the possible treatment options, including potential side effects of medical treatments. A positive approach to treatment can help you cope with the physical demands of surgery and/or medical treatment and can support your recovery.
A TREATMENT PLAN FOR KIDNEY CANCER MAY INCLUDE ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING:
Active surveillance is watching your kidney tumour carefully and waiting to start treatment until it starts to grow or cause problems.
Total (radical) or partial nephrectomy.
Includes radiofrequency ablation (RFA) or cryoablation. These treatments destroy tumour cells without having to remove the tumour from the body. They are less invasive than surgery. Unfortunately, their applicability is limited and their efficacy is much less proven than that of surgery.
Targeted therapy is a particular type of medication that identifies and interferes with the growth of cancer cells at a molecular level.
Radiation therapy can be used to slow down or even stop the progression of renal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body; for example, to the bone.
If a tumour is contained within the kidney, only surgical management is required. If the cancer has spread (metastasized) from the kidney to other parts of the body, medical management (medication) becomes necessary. Whenever possible, surgery is used in conjunction with targeted therapy.
Immuno-oncology (IO) therapy is a treatment that boosts the body’s own immune system to help recognize and attack cancer cells. New or novel immuno-oncology drugs may also be used when kidney cancer is advanced or has spread (metastasized) from the kidney to other parts of the body.
Two or more forms of treatment are often used in combination, such as surgery to remove a primary tumour followed by radiation treatment or medication to destroy any cancer cells that may remain.