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Kidney CancerKidney Cancer Treatment

Let's Talk About Kidney Cancer Treatment

From active surveillance to drug therapy, there are many ways to tackle kidney cancer. Check out HealthCentral's guide to the latest approaches for staying one step ahead of this disease.

    Our Pro PanelKidney Cancer Treatment

    We went to some of the nation's top experts in kidney cancer to bring you the most up-to-date information possible.

    Pedro Barata, M.D. headshot

    Pedro Barata, M.D.Medical Oncologist

    Tulane Cancer Center
    New Orleans, LA
    Benjamin Chung, M.D. headshot.

    Benjamin Chung, M.D.Director of Robotic Surgery and Urologic Oncologist

    Stanford University Medical Center
    Stanford, CA
    Ithaar Derweesh, M.D. headshot.

    Ithaar Derweesh, M.D.Urologic Oncologist

    UC San Diego Health
    San Diego, CA

    Frequently Asked QuestionsKidney Cancer Treatment

    Will kidney cancer come back after surgery?

    In patients whose tumors are only found in their kidney, some 20% to 30% will relapse after surgery, usually within three years of treatment. Most often, tumors pop back up in the lung.

    Is radiation used to treat kidney cancer?

    This isn’t a primary treatment for kidney cancer but it can be used along with other therapies to control symptoms and ease pain when cancer has spread or when surgery isn’t an option.

    Why isn’t chemotherapy used to treat most kidney cancers?

    Unlike many other cancers, kidney tumors generally don’t respond to chemotherapy. But for people with urothelial carcinoma (when cancer forms in the part of the kidney that collects pee, usually treated like bladder cancer), Wilms tumor (the most common type of kidney cancer in young kids), and some rare forms of the disease, chemotherapy can be part of treatment.

    Should I consider a clinical trial?

    These are research studies that test if new treatments are safe and effective. If you’re enrolled, you might receive the standard treatment or be part of the first wave of patients to try a new therapy. They’re not for everyone, but if your current treatment protocol isn’t working, you can ask your doctor if you are a good candidate for any ongoing clinical trials.

    Lexi Krupp

    Lexi Krupp

    Lexi Krupp is a journalist who covers health and science stories for audio and print.