Kidney Cancer Treatment

This information is useful for children, adults, and older adults
An older woman who has had kidney cancer treatment walks though the woods with her family.

When physicians at outside hospitals encounter complex or challenging cases of kidney cancer, they often refer their patients to Yale Medicine for expert opinion. While the majority of kidney cancers are renal cell carcinoma (RCC), scientific advances have led to an increasingly complex understanding of tumor types which can be important for personalized treatment. 

"Our management of kidney cancer has changed dramatically," says Joseph Brito, MD, a Yale Medicine urologist and assistant professor of urology at Yale School of Medicine. “With the increasing use of imaging techniques such as CT scan, we are able to diagnose kidney tumors at very early stages, which allows us to treat the tumor and save the healthy portion of the kidney.” Treatment can range from active surveillance to surgery, depending on the size and type of tumor identified.

At Yale Medicine, patients have full access to leading physicians and world-class resources at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven. Our doctors are also at the forefront of kidney cancer treatment and research, including novel immunotherapy approaches and the genetic characterization of kidney cancers.

In addition, the Yale School of Medicine's Hereditary Kidney Cancer and Genetic Assessment Program investigates potential genetic causes of kidney cancer in young patients, those with a family history, and individuals with multiple tumors. This approach allows for a deeper dive into the family history to help family members determine if they carry a risk for the same type of cancer.