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Kidney Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment: A Comprehensive Guide

Kidney cancer is a serious condition that requires prompt diagnosis and effective treatment. In this blog, we will discuss the methods of diagnosing kidney cancer and explore the various treatment options available. 

By understanding the process and options, patients and their loved ones can make informed decisions about their healthcare.

Early detection and appropriate treatment are crucial in managing kidney cancer and improving the chances of a successful outcome.

Diagnosing Kidney Cancer

Accurate diagnosis is crucial for effective kidney cancer treatment. The location and spread of the cancer must be determined for appropriate treatment planning. In most cases, a CT scan can reveal solid components in the kidney, indicating a 90-95% chance of cancer. 

A biopsy is not always necessary for diagnosis, as kidney tissue is highly vascular, and a biopsy may lead to severe bleeding and the need for immediate surgery.

However, if the CT scan shows suspicious findings, fine-needle aspiration (FNA) or biopsy may be required.

Also Read- How Fast Does Kidney Cancer Spread

Additional diagnostic tests such as PET scans, chest, and abdomen CT scans, or bone scans can help determine the extent and location of the tumor and its proximity to blood vessels.

These tests provide valuable information to the healthcare team, allowing them to create a personalized treatment plan that targets the specific characteristics of the cancer.

Related Blog- Stage 1 Kidney Cancer Symptoms And Treatment

Treatment Options for Kidney Cancer

Partial nephrectomy: This procedure is suitable for cases where the cancer is localized and no major vessels are involved. In this conservative surgery, the cancerous tissue and a small margin of healthy tissue are removed, preserving some of the kidneys.

Partial nephrectomy is an effective treatment for early-stage kidney cancer and can significantly improve the patient’s quality of life.

Radical nephrectomy: This treatment is recommended for larger tumors (4-5 cm), those involving the central part of the kidney, or when two-thirds of the kidney is affected.

The entire kidney, surrounding fat, and lymph nodes are removed. Radical nephrectomy can be performed as an open surgery or through laparoscopy. 

Today, most of these procedures are done using laparoscopic or robotic surgery, which results in minimal scarring, faster recovery, and a shorter hospital stay.

Patients can typically return home on the second or third day after surgery.

Treatment for locally advanced cancer: If cancer has spread to the main blood vessels, lymph nodes, or the inferior vena cava (IVC), complete removal and cure may still be possible.

In some cases, even if the cancer has reached the heart, successful surgical intervention can be achieved. This advanced surgical approach requires a highly skilled surgical team and extensive planning to maximize the chances of a successful outcome.

Cytoreductive nephrectomy: For stage 4 kidney cancer that has spread to other organs, such as the liver or bones, cytoreductive nephrectomy can be performed if the cancer is restricted to one organ. 

Although a complete cure is not possible in these cases, this procedure can prolong life by up to five years. By reducing the tumor burden, patients may experience an improved quality of life and increased responsiveness to other treatments, such as immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy: In cases where cancer has spread extensively and cannot be removed surgically, immunotherapy is used to help the body’s immune system fight cancer.

Immunotherapy drugs and tablets can enhance the patient’s immune response and potentially slow down the progression of the disease. 

Ongoing research and clinical trials are continually improving our understanding of immunotherapy and its potential benefits for kidney cancer patients.

It is important to note that radiation and chemotherapy are not effective treatments for kidney cancer.

Therefore, focusing on appropriate surgical intervention and exploring alternative therapies such as immunotherapy is essential in managing this disease.

Also, Read- Treatment of Stage 4 Kidney Cancer


Diagnosing and treating kidney cancer requires a comprehensive approach and a skilled healthcare team. By understanding the diagnostic process and available treatment options, patients and their families can make informed decisions about their care. 

Early detection and appropriate treatment are crucial in managing kidney cancer and improving the chances of a successful outcome.

It is important to remember that each case of kidney cancer is unique, and treatment plans should be tailored to the individual’s specific circumstances. 

A multidisciplinary team of specialists, including oncologists, kidney cancer surgeons in Mumbai, radiologists, and supportive care professionals, will collaborate to develop the most effective treatment plan for each patient.


    About Author

    Dr. Nilesh is a renowned Cancer surgeon/consultant practicing at SSO Hospital, Infinity Media Surge Hospital, and Navkaar Cancer Clinic Mumbai and he is also a visiting consultant at various hospitals in Mumbai, Thane, Dombivali, Kalyan, Navi Mumbai, etc. With over 10+ years of experience, he is highly trained and specialized in performing GI & Gynae cancer surgery procedures from the simplest to the most complicated surgeries.