There are a number of treatments available for kidney cancer. However, before a physician recommends a treatment, he or she will have to perform a variety of tests in order to determine what stage the cancer is in. An ultrasound, biopsy and urinalysis are some of the tests available.
The treatment that the physician recommends depends on how advanced the cancer is. In many cases, doctors will recommend more than one treatment. Below is a list of some of the treatments available:
Surgery is one of the most commonly recommended treatments for kidney cancer. A person only has a small chance of survival if he or she does not have kidney cancer surgery. Even if the cancer has spread, a patient may still benefit from getting surgery.
The physician may only have to remove the cancer and some of the surrounding tissue in the kidney. However, the doctor will often have to remove the entire kidney.
In some cases, surgery is not a feasible option. That is why doctors may recommend a procedure called cryoablation. Cryoblation freezes the cancerous cells. During this procedure, a small needle is inserted into the skin. The needle contains gas that will freeze the malignant cells.
Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure heat ups and burns the cancerous cells. A needle is inserted into the skin and an electrical current is used to heat the cancerous cells. This may be another option for people who are not able to undergo surgery.
Radiation therapy destroys malignant cells by using high-powered radiation. This is sometimes used to treat kidney cancer. However, kidney cancer often does not respond to radiation therapy. In most cases, radiation therapy is recommended to reduce symptoms. It may also be recommended to patients who are not able to undergo surgery.
Chemotherapy is recommended to some patients who have kidney cancer. However, kidney cancer cells are often resistant to chemotherapy. Certain chemotherapy drugs have been shown to help a small percentage of patients. It is also important to note that chemotherapy can cause many side effects, such as mouth sores, hair loss and fatigue.
Biologic therapy, which is also known as immunotherapy, involves using drugs to help the immune system fight the cancer. It can be effective for fighting cancer, but it can also cause serious side effects. That is why doctors will have to take the patient’s health into consideration before recommending this treatment.