The most common treatment for kidney cancer is surgery. The type of surgery done depends on the severity of the cancer. For people with a very small tumor, or for people who only have one kidney, doctors may remove just the tumor and a small part of the surrounding tissue. In most cases, doctors will perform radical nephrectomy, which involves removing the entire kidney and occasionally some surrounding tissue, including the adrenal gland and nearby lymph nodes. If surgery is too risky, doctors may perform other procedures, including arterial embolization, which involves blocking the blood flow to your kidney in order to shrink the tumor.
If the kidney cancer has begun to spread, there are other treatment options available. One option is biological therapy, or immunotherapy, which uses drugs like interferon to encourage your body's immune system to attack the cancer. Drugs may also be used in the form of targeted therapy, in which drugs block the signals in cancer cells that tell them to grow. Other therapies such as chemotherapy (using strong drugs to kill cancer cells) or radiation therapy (aiming high-energy rays at tumors to destroy cancer cells) may be recommended. Talk with your doctor to determine what treatment options are best for you.