What Is Kidney Cancer?
Kidney cancer is a disease in which kidney cells become cancerous and grow out of control, forming a tumor. It is also called renal cancer. Almost all kidney cancers first appear in the lining of tiny tubes (tubules) in the kidney. This type of kidney cancer is called renal cell carcinoma.
What Are the Treatments for Kidney Cancer?
For kidney cancer,there are many standard kinds of treatment. In most cases, surgery is the first step. Even if surgery removes the whole tumor, your doctor may propose an extra treatment to kill any remaining cancer cells that cannot be seen.
Surgery for Kidney Cancer
The type of surgery you need depends on how advanced your cancer is.
Radical nephrectomy removes the kidney, adrenal gland, and surrounding tissue. It also often removes nearby lymph nodes.
Simple nephrectomy removes the kidney only.
Partial nephrectomy removes the cancer in the kidney along with some tissue around it. This procedure is used for patients with smaller tumors or in those patients in which a radical nephrectomy might hurt the other kidney.
If surgery can’t remove your kidney cancer, your doctor may suggest another option to help destroy the tumor.
Cryotherapy uses extreme cold to kill the tumor.
Radiofrequency ablation uses high-energy radio waves to “cook” the tumor.
Arterial embolization involves inserting material into an artery that leads to the kidney. This blocks blood flow to the tumor. This procedure may be done to help shrink the tumor before surgery.
Biologic therapy for kidney cancer
To fight cancer, this mode of treatment utilizes your immune system by restoring, directing or boosting your body’s natural defenses. Substances for biologic therapy are made by your body or in a lab. Examples of biologic therapy for metastatic kidney cancer include interferon alpha or interleukin-2. There are several new immunotherapies being constantly studied for kidney cancer.
Targeted therapy for kidney cancer
To detect and target cancer cells with less toxicity to normal cells, this therapy uses drugs or other substances. One type of targeted therapy is anti-angiogenic agents. These keep blood vessels from feeding a tumor, causing it to shrink or stop growing. Another type of targeted agent is known as multikinase inhibitors or tyrosine kinase inhibitors. These are oral drugs that close an enzyme pathway which allows cancer cells to grow. A third type of targeted therapy is called as m-TOR inhibitors. There are two of these drugs available, one oral and one by IV. They block a pathway which allows blood vessels to help tumor cells grow. Each of these drugs have a special place in the management of advanced kidney cancer.
Radiation therapy for kidney cancer
Frequently used to help with symptoms of kidney cancer or in patients who cannot have surgery. Tthis treatment uses high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or halt their growth. External radiation therapy sends radiation to the cancer from a machine outside the body.
Chemotherapy for kidney cancer
To kill cancer cells or to stop them from multiplying, this therapy uses drugs. Chemotherapy is mostly used for a certain type of kidney cancer in which there are spindle cells.