When cancer originates in the kidneys, oncologists classify it as kidney cancer, according to Mayo Clinic. Most children with kidney cancer have a type of cancer known as Wilms’ tumor, while renal cell carcinoma is the most prevalent type of kidney cancer in adults.
The prognosis for kidney cancer is quite good when it is detected in its earliest stages and confined solely to the kidney, according to the American Cancer Society. Stage 1 kidney cancer has a five-year survival rate of 81 percent. However, once the cancer has metastasized and moved to distant parts of the body, the prognosis is much grimmer, with the five-year survival rate dropping to just 8 percent.
The first-line treatment for kidney cancer is surgery, notes Mayo Clinic. Removing the entire cancerous kidney is sometimes the chosen course of treatment. Surgery to remove just the tumor and cancerous cells from the kidney may also be an option.
When surgery is not a feasible treatment, cryoablation to freeze and destroy the cancer cells is an option. Similarly, an oncologist may devise a treatment plan using radiofrequency ablation to destroy cancer cells with heat. For advanced or recurrent cases of kidney cancer, other treatment options include targeted, biological and radiation therapies.