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Is Kidney Cancer Curable?

When abnormal cells in one or both kidneys begin to divide and proliferate uncontrollably, kidney cancer begins to develop. The cells may spread to different parts of the body and develop into the tissues or organs in the vicinity.  A tumor or mass is a growth that is abnormal in the body. A tumor or mass in the kidney shows an abnormal growth there. There are benign (non-cancerous) and malignant kidney masses (cancerous). Smaller lumps have a higher chance of being benign.  The cancerous masses are mostly the larger lumps. While some tumors may advance slowly, others may advance more quickly or aggressively. Aggressive tumors can develop, spread, and enlarge very quickly.

About 40% of kidney growths are tiny, localized masses. Localized refers to a tumor that has not spread from its original location. 

Early signs and Symptoms

Early signs of kidney cancer can be very feeble and can go unnoticed. However, there are some signs and symptoms you should look out for, such as:

  • Urine with blood 
  • Lumps on the back or sides
  • Unexplained back pain 
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Unexplained weight loss 
  • Fever that occurs very frequently
  • Anemia 
  • Blood in cough 
  • Pain in the bones

Although kidney cancer (or another type of cancer) might induce these symptoms, other benign disorders may also cause similar symptoms. For instance, a kidney stone or a bladder or urinary tract infection are the most typical causes of blood in the urine. However, if you have any of these signs, you should consult a doctor as it helps to identify and address the cause if necessary.

Treatment Methods for Kidney Cancer

The major objective of treating kidney cancer is to rid you of the malignancy and, whenever possible, to safeguard kidney function. Protecting kidney function is very crucial for patients with one functioning kidney or with a kidney disease.

While some people will never require surgery. Surgery could be the best option for certain people. Surgery to remove all or a portion of the kidney is the most typical form of treatment for kidney cancer. However, the course of your treatment will depend on your age, general health, disease stage, and other factors. The tumor may require a biopsy in some cases in order to determine how aggressive it might be. And after this, the appropriate treatment can be started. 

Active Surveillance

Your physician will see you periodically for tests and imaging while you are under active surveillance (taking pictures of inside your body). For small masses that are less than 3 cm (approximately 1.2 inches) in size, active surveillance is a possibility. The objective is to stop the progression while avoiding any dangers or adverse effects from previous treatments. Depending on your needs, you will visit us every three, six, or twelve months. Additionally, you might get ultrasounds, CT scans, and chest x-rays. The size and stage of the tumor, together with your age and overall health, will determine how frequently you visit the doctor.


Your surgeon might decide on ablation if your tumor is small (T1a, mass less than three centimeters in size). Ablation uses extremely high or low temperatures to kill the tumor. Prior to undergoing ablation, your doctor may perform a biopsy so that a pathologist can carefully examine the tumor cells to determine whether there is a malignancy.

When extremely cold gases are delivered via a probe to kill the tumor cells, the procedure is called cryoablation (cold ablation).

A tiny, needle-like probe is used in radiofrequency ablation (hot ablation) to penetrate the skin and remove the tumor. To heat the tumor and kill the cells, an electric current is passed through the tip of the probe.

Partial Nephrectomy

The term “nephrectomy” refers to kidney removal. A partial nephrectomy occurs when the doctor only removes the tumor and the affected kidney tissue, leaving the healthy kidney intact. Your doctor might advise a partial nephrectomy if your tumor is at T1a stage (4 cm or less). If a larger tumor appears restricted and suitable for a partial nephrectomy, it can also be removed surgically.

Radical Nephrectomy

A radical nephrectomy involves removing the entire kidney. If your kidney tumor is large, aggressive, or showing signs of developing into cancer, it will be removed. If the other kidney is removed, your body can still function normally with one good kidney.

Laparoscopic surgery is frequently used for both forms of nephrectomy, however, traditional open surgery may occasionally be required depending on the size and features of the tumor. During a laparoscopy, your surgeon will make a tiny incision in your belly and insert a thin, illuminated tube to view your kidneys.


The goal of immunotherapy, also known as biologic therapy, is to strengthen the body’s inherent ability to fight cancer. To enhance, target, or restore immune system function, it uses substances that are produced by the body or in a lab. It can help in the following ways:

  • By preventing or reducing the development of cancer cells
  • Preventing the spread of cancer to other areas of the body
  • By improving the immune system’s capacity to eliminate cancer cells


In most cases, kidney cancer can be cured with an early diagnosis, appropriate treatments, and care. Every step, from a precise diagnosis to choosing the right treatment and care, is important to attain the cure for cancer. Along with the conventional treatment methods, when appropriate complementary treatments, supplements and diet are factors that contribute to increased chances of cure. 


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