What are the treatment options for stage 4 kidney cancer?

Treatment options for stage 4 kidney cancer have to address cancer throughout the body, rather than only in the kidney. Surgery at stage 4 may be to remove the tumor, or the kidney, or if necessary a radical nephrectomy may be required (removal of the kidney, adrenal gland, lymph nodes and other nearby tissue). Other treatments at stage 4 will likely involve targeted or systemic options. One option is biological therapy, or immunotherapy, which uses drugs like interferon to encourage your body's immune system to attack the cancer. Targeted therapy may also be used, which involves administering drugs that target cancer cells by their genes and may block their growth signals or destroy them in other ways.

Clinical trials and other treatment therapies such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be the best option, depending on each individual case. If the cancer has progressed far enough, the best treatment options may be focused on relieving pain (palliative care) rather than destroying the cancer.

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