Surgery is the main treatment for kidney cancer. There are different types of surgery depending on the stage and type of cancer. Radiotherapy or chemotherapy may be considered if your cancer has advanced.

  • The removal of a kidney is called Nephrectomy.
  • Partial Nephrectomy describes when the part of the kidney containing the cancer is removed with the surrounding tissue.
  • Radical Nephrectomy describes when the kidney, adrenal gland, nearby lymph nodes and nearby fatty tissue are removed.

Nephrectomy surgery can be carried out using a keyhole, or laparoscopic, approach.

If your cancer is small, there are other treatments that may be more suitable than Nephrectomy, including:

  • Arterial Embolisation: A small incision is made in your groin and a tube is passed in under the guidance of an X-ray. Embolisation is performed to shrink the cancer by blocking the blood flowing to it. This stops the cancer cells getting oxygen and other materials that it needs to grow.
  • Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA): This treatment is carried out in the X-ray department under CT or ultrasound guidance. It uses heat to destroy the cancer cells. A needle-type instrument is placed in the kidney tumor through your skin, and a generator delivers an alternating current of energy to destroy the cells needed for the cancer to grow.