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Renal Cancer (or) Kidney Cancer


The treatments for kidney cancer include:

  • Surgery: Surgery is the initial treatment for most cases of kidney cancer. Some of the surgical interventions include:
      Radical nephrectomy: This surgery involves the removal of the affected kidney, nearby lymph nodes, attached adrenal gland, and surrounding fatty tissues. The surgery is usually performed by making an incision in the middle of the abdomen. In cases where the cancer is present in the lower portion of the kidney and is far from the adrenal gland, the oncosurgeons do not remove the adrenal gland. Apart from conventional radical nephrectomy, the other techniques used are laparoscopic nephrectomy and robotic-assisted laparoscopic nephrectomy.
      Partial nephrectomy: It is one of the preferred treatments in the management of early-stage kidney cancer. It is used to remove both small and large tumors. It helps in keeping some of the kidney functions. However, partial nephrectomy is not viable in patients with renal cancer in the middle of the kidney, large tumors, or multiple tumors in the same kidney.
  • Cryoablation: The oncosurgeons insert a hollow needle into the kidney tumor through the skin with the help of imaging guidance. The cold gas is then flown into the needle to freeze the abnormal cells.
  • Radiofrequency ablation: The oncosurgeons insert the special probe into the kidney tumor. The tumor cells are heated by flowing the electric current through the probe.
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy is generally used in patients in whom the surgery is not viable or who only have a single kidney. Generally, external beam radiation therapy is performed in patients with kidney cancer. Radiation therapy is also used for relieving the symptoms of kidney cancer as a part of palliative care.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is not usually a standard treatment for kidney cancer due to the low response of kidney cancer cells. Chemotherapy is effective in some kidney cancer patients and is often prescribed when the other treatment options, such as immunotherapy and targeted therapy, are already exhausted.
  • Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy is used in patients with advanced kidney cancer. These drugs may slow the growth or shrink the tumor. Targeted therapy may be used along with surgery. Targeted therapy either prevents the formation of new blood vessels that feed the tumor or blocks the mTOR protein that helps the cancer cells to grow and divide.
  • Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy drugs function against kidney cancer cells by inhibiting the immune checkpoints or directly boosting the immune system.

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