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Kidney cancer

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Treatments for stage III kidney cancer

The following are treatment options for stage III kidney cancer. Your healthcare team will suggest treatments based on your needs and work with you to develop a treatment plan.


Surgery is the standard treatment for stage III kidney cancer. Radical nephrectomy is the type of surgery offered. This surgery removes the whole kidney, the ureter attached to the kidney and the layer of fat around the kidney.

The surgeon may also remove lymph nodes close to the kidney and the adrenal gland during radical nephrectomy. Surgery to remove lymph nodes is called lymph node dissection, or lymphadenectomy.

Arterial embolization

A kidney tumour needs blood to grow. Arterial embolization is a procedure that blocks the blood supply to a kidney tumour. It may be done before a radical nephrectomy to shrink the tumour and control bleeding during surgery. You may be offered this procedure if you aren’t well enough to have surgery.

Ablation therapy

Ablation therapies use heat or cold to destroy the kidney tumour. You may be offered ablation therapy if you are not well to have surgery or if you only have one working kidney.

Radiation therapy

If you aren’t well enough to have surgery, you may be offered external beam radiation therapy. This treatment can help shrink the tumour and relieve symptoms such as pain.

Clinical trials

You may be asked if you want to join a clinical trial for kidney cancer. Find out more about clinical trials.


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