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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Kidney Cancer, Version 1.2017


Overview of cancer treatments


Another part of the planning involves hospice care.

Hospice care doesn’t include treatment to fight the

cancer but rather to reduce symptoms caused by


Hospice care may be started because you aren’t

interested in more cancer treatment, no other cancer

treatment is available, or you may be too sick for

cancer treatment. Hospice care allows you to have

the best quality of life possible. Care is given all

day, every day of the week. You can choose to have

hospice care at home or at a hospice center. One

study found that patients and caregivers had a better

quality of life when hospice care was started early.

An advance directive describes the treatment you’d

want if you weren’t able to make your wishes known.

It also can name a person whom you’d want to make

decisions for you. It is a legal paper that your doctors

have to follow. It can reveal your wishes about life-

sustaining machines, such as feeding tubes. It can

also include your treatment wishes if your heart or

lungs were to stop working. If you already have an

advance directive, it may need to be updated to be

legally valid.




Primary treatment is the main treatment used to

rid the body of cancer.



Surgery is often used as primary treatment for

kidney cancer.



A partial nephrectomy is surgery that only

removes the part of the kidney with the tumor.



A radical nephrectomy removes the whole

kidney with the tumor, and possibly other

nearby tissues like the adrenal gland and lymph




Targeted therapy is treatment with drugs that

target a specific or unique feature of cancer




Immunotherapy, also called cytokine therapy,

helps the immune system fight off cancer cells.



A clinical trial studies a test or treatment to see

how safe it is and how well it works.



Supportive care is treatment given to relieve

symptoms of the cancer and side effects of

cancer treatment.



Talking with your doctor about your prognosis

can help with treatment planning.