Treatment for renal cancer, or cancer of the kidneys, could include several different types of surgery, such as complete or partial removal of the kidney or surgical removal of the cancer cyst itself, according to Cancer.Net. Other types of less invasive surgery used to treat kidney cancer could include techniques such as radiofrequency ablation or cryoablation.
If the cancer is detected before it spreads out of the kidneys, surgery is a good option for treatment, states Cancer.Net. A surgeon may order a radical nephrectomy, which involves complete removal of the cyst, the kidney and surrounding tissue. In less severe cases, a surgeon may opt to remove just the cyst itself while preserving kidney function. This surgery is called a partial nephrectomy and is primarily used for smaller tumors.
In other cases, a radiologist may decide on a less invasive surgical treatment, such as radiofrequency ablation, according to Cancer.Net. In this technique, the radiologist inserts a needle into the kidney tumor and destroys it with an electrical current. Similarly, during cryoablation a radiologist inserts a metal probe into the tumor and freezes the cancerous cells, killing them.
A nonsurgical treatment could include targeted therapy, which introduces drugs into a patient's body to target the cancer genes or proteins that contribute to its survival, explains Cancer.Net. A doctor may also suggest radiation therapy or chemotherapy, depending on an individual's specific condition.