Kidney Cancer Treatment

Kidney Cancer Treatment

Kidney cancer, also called renal cell cancer, is one of the ten most common cancers in both men and women. Treatment options may include surgery (open or laparoscopic), local therapies such as ablation and embolization, active surveillance, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and chemotherapy. These treatments might be used alone or in combination, depending on various factors.

Surgery is the main treatment for most types of kidney cancer. Since 2000, the use of complete nephrectomy (removal of the whole kidney) in patients with localized kidney cancer or cancer in the immediate surrounding tissue (regional kidney cancer) has decreased, while the rate of partial nephrectomy (removal of only the affected part of the kidney) has increased. Partial nephrectomy is now the preferred treatment for patients with early stage kidney cancer, but there are patients with early stage disease for whom partial nephrectomy may not be possible. Studies have shown the long-term results of partial nephrectomy and complete nephrectomy are about the same. Also, partial nephrectomy may prevent serious side effects like chronic kidney disease.

Systemic therapy also may be used as a treatment among individuals diagnosed with kidney cancer. The proportion of patients with kidney cancer who received systemic therapy increased from 2009 to 2019 for patients in each examined age group. While the proportion of patients with kidney cancer who received systemic therapy increased from 2009 to 2019 among all patients combined, the proportion receiving systemic therapy did not increase among non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, or American Indian/Alaska Native patients.

Partial nephrectomy or complete nephrectomy in patients with localized/regional kidney cancer.

Receipt of systemic therapy among patients with kidney cancer.

Nephrectomy estimates: SEER 17 Registries, National Cancer Institute, 2004–2019.

Systemic therapy estimates: SEER Patterns of Care/Quality of Care Studies, National Cancer Institute, 2004-2019.

  • There are no Healthy People 2030 targets for cancer treatment, including kidney cancer treatment.

Healthy People 2030 is a set of goals set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Non-Significant Change
Kidney, Lung, Ovarian, Prostate Treatment