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How Is Kidney Cancer Treated?
Kidney cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer out there. In fact, it is one of the ten most common kinds of cancer you can get, though it is unlikely that you will be diagnosed before the age of 45. On average, most kidney cancer patients are diagnosed between the ages of 65 to 74.
If you are not in that age group and have a while to go until then, this article is to help you gauge your options. It is unlikely that you might get it, but it is important to be aware of this information in case people around you are diagnosed with it. So, without further ado, let’s look at the various kidney cancer treatment options:
Surgery is the most often used treatment in case of kidney cancer treatment. Depending on the stage and type of cancer, there are many kinds of surgery your doctor may recommend. Some of these are:
- Radical Nephrectomy: This removes the affected kidney in its entirety. If the adrenal gland is also compromised by cancer, it will also be removed.
- Laparoscopic Radical Nephrectomy: Instead of open surgery, this relies on making a few small incisions and uses a laparoscope to guide the removal of the kidney.
- Partial Nephrectomy: This kind of surgery aims to remove only the affected parts of the kidney so as to preserve as much kidney functionality as possible.
- Robotic Surgery: Using a robot to perform surgery is among the newer options available to kidney cancer patients. It is a very minimally invasive surgery when compared to radical nephrectomy, and causes very few side effects.
As far as treatments for kidney cancer is concerned, chemotherapy is used only on patients who have RCC, which is pretty rare. On top of this, kidney cancer cells do not respond well to chemotherapy, which means that only a small fraction of patients will get any benefit. This makes it a nonstandard treatment for kidney cancer, but depending on the type and stage, chemotherapy might still be a valid option for you.
Immunotherapy is a treatment for advanced kidney cancer – usually those that have metastasized. Two kinds of immunotherapy can be used. These include:
- Checkpoint inhibitors disrupt the signals that cancer cells use to hide from the body’s immune system.
- Cytokines are molecules that regulate the immune system. They can be used to stop cancer cells from dividing – thereby making them vulnerable to the immune system.
Targeted therapy depends on identifying the kind of cancer and using drugs specific to the cancer type in order to either kill it or help other treatments, like chemotherapy or radiation therapy, work more efficiently. These drugs reduce blood flow to cancer cells, killing them more effectively.
Radiology is used to give doctors images of the inside of the human body. Once they have visualizations of where the cancer is, they use these images to perform minimally invasive intervention procedures, usually in an effort to preserve kidney functioning. These kinds of treatments are usually reserved for cancers deemed inoperable.
Kidney cancer treatments come in a wide range, as you can see, and you should consult with your doctors to find the best possible solution for you. Book an appointment today to know what can be done to return you to a healthy, functioning state. We also have dialysis treatment options available for you, so don’t waste time wondering. Come, get checked out with All American Hospice today!