When cancer develops in the kidneys and spreads to other parts of the body, it is known as metastatic kidney cancer – no matter where the cancerous cells end up. For instance, cancer that spreads from the kidneys to the lungs is still considered to be kidney cancer and is treated accordingly.
Certain types of kidney cancer are more prone to spreading than others. High-grade kidney cancer involves abnormal cells that are more likely to invade surrounding healthy tissues than low-grade kidney cancer cells. However, low-grade kidney cancer can still spread. This is why prompt treatment is always important.
Treating metastatic kidney cancer
When treating metastatic kidney cancer, oncologists take several factors into consideration to determine whether surgery is a potential treatment option, or if treatments that target cells throughout the entire body would be more appropriate. They also need to consider where, specifically, the cancer has spread and the size of the primary tumor.
While certain treatments may not be recommended if the cancer has spread, there are now more metastatic kidney cancer treatment options available than ever before. For instance, drugs that block the formation of new blood vessels (anti-angiogenic drugs) can help slow down the process of metastasis. Other drugs can block certain enzymes that promote cancer growth. These and other advances have helped improve survival rates for patients with metastatic kidney cancer.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we’re committed to helping our patients achieve not only the best possible survival outcomes, but also a high quality of life. Our supportive care team develops strategies for dealing with metastatic kidney cancer symptoms, as well as any side effects that might occur during treatment. At the same time, our surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and nephrologists work hand-in-hand to make individualized treatment plans for each patient.
To learn more about metastatic kidney cancer treatment, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online to request an appointment with an oncologist in our Urologic Oncology Program. You do not need a physician’s referral to come to Moffitt.