The diagnosis and treatment of kidney cancer has changed remarkably rapidly. Although the incidence of renal cell carcinoma has increased, survival has improved substantially. As incidental diagnosis of indolent small kidney tumor has become more common, active surveillance, robotic-assisted surgical techniques, and minimally invasive procedures such as thermal ablation have gained popularity.
Despite progression in cancer control and survival, locally advanced disease and distant metastases are still diagnosed in a remarkable proportion of patients.
Signs and Symptoms
Early kidney tumors usually do not cause any signs or symptoms, but larger tumors may. Some of the possible symptoms and signs of kidney cancer are:
If you notice any of the symptoms, see a health professional.
Removal surgery (partial or radical nephrectomy) remains the gold standard for the treatment of renal tumors. The selection of tumors for partial nephrectomy has long been dictated by tumor anatomical location, stage, or other features that limit the possibility of complete tumor resection.
Randomized clinical trials have examined the potential of nephron-sparing approaches to preserve renal function and reduce long-term morbidity associated with having a solitary kidney.
Targeted Cancer Treatment
Cryoablation is a treatment option for the kidney that is increasingly being used for stage I cancer. In 2009, the American Urological Association included ablation in its treatment guidelines for stage I renal cancer. National Comprehensive Cancer Network added ablation to its own guidelines in 2018.
Microwave ablation has been increasingly recognized as a valuable kidney cancer treatment alternative to kidney surgery for patients with contraindications to general anesthesia, high surgical risk, or for maximal preservation of kidney function. (Favi et al., Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2019).
Thermal ablation is primarily used for the treatment of small, unresectable tumors, for patients who have been resistant to chemo/radiotherapy treatment or who are NOT surgical candidates, such as:
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