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Kidney Cancer Pain

For people with kidney cancer, pain can be caused by a tumor that is pressing against nerves or other organs near the kidney. Pain may also be a side effect of treatment for kidney cancer. In cases of kidney cancer, pain medicines, radiation therapy, and nerve blocks are some of the methods doctors use to relieve or reduce pain. The healthcare team may also suggest alternative treatments for reducing pain caused by kidney cancer or its treatment, such as acupuncture or massage therapy.

Kidney Cancer Pain: A Summary

People with kidney cancer may experience pain as a result of the disease. Pain can be caused by a tumor that is pressing against nerves and other organs near the kidney. Pain can also be caused by kidney cancer treatment. The patient's doctor or a specialist in pain control can relieve or reduce kidney cancer pain in several ways, which include:
  • Pain medicine -- Medicines often can relieve kidney cancer pain. Although these medicines may make people drowsy and constipated, resting and taking laxatives can help.
  • Radiation -- High-energy rays can help relieve pain associated with kidney cancer by shrinking the tumor. Radiation therapy can be administered with or without other kidney cancer treatments.
  • Nerve block -- The doctor may inject alcohol into the area around certain nerves around the kidney to block the kidney cancer pain. This is called a nerve block.

Alternative Treatments for Kidney Cancer Pain

The healthcare team may suggest alternative treatments to relieve or reduce pain with kidney cancer, such as:
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure.


Patients may also learn to relieve pain through relaxation techniques, such as listening to slow music or breathing slowly and comfortably.

(Click Alternative Kidney Cancer Treatment for more information about the different types of alternative treatments for kidney cancer pain.)

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