For most kidney cancers, surgery is usually the treatment plan. Surgical procedures for kidney cancer include:
- Removing the kidney only (simple nephrectomy)
- Removing the cancer in the kidney and some surrounding tissue (partial nephrectomy)
- Removing the kidney, adrenal gland and surrounding tissue and sometimes adjacent lymph nodes (radical nephrectomy).
These surgeries may be performed as traditional open surgery or as minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, which uses several small incisions. The Urology Specialists of Maryland specialize in robotic assisted minimally invasive surgery for the treatment of kidney cancer.
If the kidney is removed, patients recover and survive with the remaining working kidney. If both kidneys are removed, patients will need to have their blood cleaned regularly with dialysis. Patients whose kidney cancer did not spread to other areas of the body are eligible for kidney transplants.
For some patients, surgery isn’t an option. Other treatment plans may include:
- Cryotherapy, a treatment that uses extreme cold to freeze or destroy the cancer cells
- Radiofrequency ablation, a treatment using electrical current to heat up or burn off the cancer cells
For kidney cancer that has spread to other parts of the body or for recurring kidney cancer, our doctors may recommend treatments that help control the cancer such as:
- Surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible
- Immunotherapy that uses the body’s immune system to fight the cancer
- Targeted drug therapy that inhibits cancer cell growth
- Radiation therapy using high-powered beams to kill cancer cells