Surgery for advanced kidney cancer
Surgery to remove kidney cancer that has spread is called cytoreductive surgery. This can involve removing the primary cancer in the kidney by nephrectomy, or removing some or all of the tumours that have spread (metastasectomy).
Recent studies suggest that treatment with targeted therapy is as effective as targeted therapy combined with cytoreductive surgery. Cytoreductive nephrectomy may be offered when the kidney cancer is causing symptoms, or when there is very little cancer spread outside the kidney. It can also be used in some people who have responded well to systemic treatment. Generally, surgery is not recommended if you are unwell or if the cancer has spread to many places in the body.
For more on this, see our general section on Surgery.
A/Prof Daniel Moon, Urologic Surgeon, Australian Urology Associates, and Honorary Clinical Associate Professor, The University of Melbourne, VIC; Polly Baldwin, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Ian Basey, Consumer; Gregory Bock, Urology Cancer Nurse Coordinator, WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network, North Metropolitan Health Service, WA; Tina Forshaw, Advanced Practice Nurse Urology, Canberra Health Services, ACT; Dr Suki Gill, Radiation Oncologist, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, WA; Karen Walsh, Nurse Practitioner, Urology Services, St Vincents Private Hospital Northside, QLD; Dr Alison Zhang, Medical Oncologist, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and Macquarie University Hospital, NSW.
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