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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.

References:

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.



Last reviewed June 2013 by Mohei Abouzied, MD;Michael Woods, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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