Detection & Treatment Options

Kidney Cancer: Detection & Treatment Options

You should see a GP if you have any symptoms of kidney cancer, such as blood in your urine or a constant pain below your ribs. Your GP will examine you and, if they think your symptoms need further assessment, refer you to a specialist urologist (a doctor who specialises in conditions that affect the urinary tract). If you notice blood in your urine, your GP will usually carry out a blood test and take a urine sample. The results will help rule out other possible causes, such as infection or kidney stones. In 2015, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published guidelines to help GPs recognise the signs and symptoms of renal (kidney) cancer and refer people for the right tests faster.

If you need to be referred urgently, you’ll usually be seen within two weeks

General treatment information

In cancer care, different types of doctors often work together to create a patient’s overall treatment plan that combines different types of treatments. This is called a multidisciplinary team. For kidney cancer, the health care team is usually led by a urologist, a doctor who specializes in the genitourinary tract, which includes the kidneys, bladder, genitals, prostate, and testicles, or a urologic oncologist, a doctor who specializes in treating cancers of the urinary tract. Cancer care teams also include a variety of other health care professionals, including physician assistants, oncology nurses, social workers, pharmacists, counselors, dietitians, and others.

Treatment options and recommendations depend on several factors, including the type and stage of cancer, possible side effects, and the patient’s preferences and overall health. Your care plan may also include treatment for symptoms and side effects, an important part of cancer care. Take time to learn about all of your treatment options and be sure to ask questions about things that are unclear. Also, talk about the goals of each treatment with your doctor and what you can expect while receiving treatment. Learn more about making treatment decisions.

Kidney cancer is most often treated with surgery, targeted therapy, and/or immunotherapy. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are occasionally used. Patients with kidney cancer that has spread (metastatic cancer, see below) often receive multiple lines of therapy, which are treatments given one after another. Descriptions of these treatment options are listed below.

The main treatments for stomach cancer are:

  • Surgery
  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted therapy  Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy

Often the best approach uses 2 or more of these treatment methods.