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
Primary treatment is the main treatment used to
rid the body of cancer.
Surgery is often used as primary treatment for
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
Talking with your doctor about your prognosis
can help with treatment planning.