Kidney Cancer Treatment Can Be Less Invasive with Modern Treatments

November 12, 2012

Kidney Cancer Treatment Can Be Less Invasive with Modern Treatments

Early diagnosis of kidney cancer, like every other cancer, is crucial to give the patient the best chance of recovery. Symptoms such as rapid weight loss without any apparent reason, having blood in your urine or perhaps feeling a lump on your side are all common indicators of kidney cancer. The rate of survival of kidney cancer is about 50%, obviously those with earlier diagnoses are more likely to be the survivors.

The next step is to find out about treatment for the kidney cancer and what options are available. The options vary depending upon how far advanced the condition is. Confirmation of the condition and stage can be found if a second opinion is asked for. Ensure that you allow yourself some quiet time to regain your calmness and guarantee that you are ready to listen to the doctor and have all of your questions ready for him during your discussion.

It’s now time to begin the selected treatment. For kidney cancer it could be a transplant or that you must have your kidney removed. Removing a kidney, especially if it is cancerous, is a routine procedure for the surgeon and because everyone has two kidneys being left with one will not affect your lifestyle. The surgeon may decide that open radical surgery is the answer in your case or may opt for the less invasive laparoscopy.

Laparoscopy has the benefits that the hospital stay is normally shorter than open radical surgery, about 3 to 5 days, whereas open radical surgery will normally mean that your hospital stay will be for at least 6 days, maybe longer. There is less pain and less blood loss in the laparoscopy meaning that fewer painkillers or other medications are taken and the scarring is minimal.

However it is harder to examine the tissue to ensure that the kidney cancer has been removed completely. The open radical surgery leaves a much bigger scar, sometimes about 12 inches and there is a lot more pain. It’s possible that the surgeon will have to remove a rib as part of the procedure, however a very thorough examination of the surrounding tissue can be conducted, meaning that the surgeon is very unlikely to miss any cancerous areas.

Because of the benefits of laparoscopy over open radical surgery it is now much more likely that your doctor will go for that option, unless there are overwhelming reasons for choosing open radical surgery. The treatments for kidney cancer can have side effects so always be ready to discuss any unexplained feelings or symptoms with your doctor. Your doctor will be aware of what to expect and can give reassurance at times of stress.

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