Kidney or renal cancer is a type of disease that triggers kidney cells to become cancerous, or malignant in nature, by growing and dividing abnormally until they form a tumor. The majority of all kidney cancers develop in the lining of the tubules (or tiny tubes of the kidney), forming a tumor known as a renal cell carcinoma. Apart from surgery, there are several other treatments for renal or kidney cancer that can be effective in treating this disease.
This article discusses the non-surgical methods of treating renal cancer:
1. Radiofrequency Ablation
This is a non-surgical procedure that involves the use of heat to destroy the tumor. This procedure is suitable for those who cannot have surgery for any reason. There is no incision needed and instead, a needle is inserted into the kidney. Once the needle is inserted, an electric current is passed to destroy the cancerous tissue.
Cryosurgery is one of the treatments for renal/kidney cancer that, even though it is a surgery, does not require an incision. A metal probe is inserted by making a very small incision. The probe is inserted into the tumor.
The tumor is frozen by the probe and the freezing leads to the death of the cancer cells. This procedure is suitable for very small tumors only.
This is one of the conventional therapies to treat cancer. Radiation is used to destroy the cancer cells. The radiation beams are directed at the kidney to destroy the tumor. This procedure is more suitable in controlling the spread of the tumor, rather than treating cancer.
4. Targeted Therapy
In this therapy, the genes or proteins of the cancer cells are targeted to destroy them. Some of the medicines used to block the growth of blood vessels that allow cancer cells to grow.
Medicines used in targeted therapy prevent cancer cells from growing further. This is a useful therapy to extend the life of a cancer patient by blocking cancer growth.
The body’s immune system can deal with most diseases. In the case of renal cancer, the cancer cells would prevent the immune system from destroying them. It makes use of various medicines to stimulate the immune system so that it could fight cancer and destroy the cancer cells.
This therapy can have side effects. It is used to treat advanced cases of cancer, mostly in the last stage of cancer.
Chemotherapy makes use of strong medicines to destroy cancer cells. It is a commonly used treatment for cancer. However, in the case of kidney cancer, it has been found that chemotherapy may not be very effective. Chemotherapy is useful to treat forms of kidney cancer like Wilms tumor.
7. Alternative therapy
Alternative therapies are available for treating kidney cancer. These are another type of treatments for renal/kidney cancer This includes:
This is a traditional Chinese medical system that uses needles that are inserted at various points on the body. This can help to relieve pain, nausea, and other such effects. As a therapy, this is useful along with other therapies to reduce the side effects.
- Herbal remedies
These remedies are practiced by practitioners of Chinese herbal medicine and the Indian system of Ayurveda. These medicines are approved by the FDA and should not be taken without consulting a doctor.
Vitamin supplements can help to strengthen the immune system to fight symptoms of cancer.