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Health Information

Radiation Therapy for Kidney Cancer

Radiation therapy is the use of beams of high-energy waves or streams of particles called radiation to treat disease. Radiation therapy destroys the ability of cancer cells to grow and divide.

Radiation may be recommended to treat kidney cancer if you are not a candidate for surgery. In general, kidney cancer is resistant to radiation treatments, but the therapy could be useful to treat pain that has spread to other parts of the body. The treatment may slow the growth of the disease, but it will not cure the cancer.

Type of Radiotherapy Used for Kidney Cancer

External radiation is used to treat kidney cancer. In external radiation therapy, rays are directed at the tumor from outside the body. Treatments are given at a hospital or radiation center, usually once a day, five days per week. The daily time spent receiving the external beam therapy is short.

Revision Information

  • About kidney cancer. Kidney Cancer Association website. Available at: http://www.kidneycancer.org/knowledge/learn/about-kidney-cancer . Updated January 29, 2013. Accessed June 20, 2013.

  • Kidney cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/kidneycancer/index . Accessed June 20, 2013.

  • Kidney cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/kidney . Accessed June 20, 2013.