Kidney cancer

You are here: 

Treatments for stage 3 kidney cancer

The following are treatment options for stage 3 kidney cancer. Your healthcare team will suggest treatments based on your needs and work with you to develop a treatment plan.


Surgery is a main treatment for stage 3 kidney cancer. A 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 adrenal gland is sometimes removed as well.

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

Ablation therapy

Ablation therapy uses heat or cold to destroy the kidney tumour. You may be offered ablation therapy if you are not well enough 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 radiation therapy. This treatment can help shrink the tumour and relieve symptoms such as pain.

Clinical trials

Talk to your doctor about clinical trials open to people with kidney cancer in Canada. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, find and treat cancer. Find out more about clinical trials.