Kidney Cancer Treatment
What Does Kidney Cancer Treatment Involve?
The treatment of kidney tumors aims not only to eliminate the tumor itself but also to address other issues caused by the disease, such as the paraneoplastic syndromes often associated with this tumor. The choice of therapy depends on the staging of the tumor, as the best approach depends on the stage at which it is detected. Additionally, treatment is influenced by the patient's overall health and functional status.
For appropriate treatment planning, it is necessary to utilize complementary diagnostic exams such as renal ultrasound, contrast-enhanced computed tomography, or, in some cases, nuclear magnetic resonance.
What are the Treatments for Kidney Cancer?
Depending on the type of tumor, staging, and the patient's overall condition, there may be different therapeutic options.
As a rule, treatment is surgical. In localized tumors, this treatment can be curative and completely eliminate the disease. If the tumor is more advanced, treatment may include options beyond surgery.
For localized tumors, the most effective and commonly used treatment currently is surgery, specifically nephrectomy. Depending on the tumor's characteristics and the patient, this can be either partial (removing only the tumor with a safety margin) or radical (complete removal of the kidney). In the majority of cases, minimally invasive surgery is possible (laparoscopic nephrectomy), which is associated with a lower rate of complications and allows for a faster recovery. In some cases, focal therapies like cryotherapy or radiofrequency treatment can be considered.
In advanced stages, due to the aggressive nature of the disease, most treatments have a palliative focus. Apart from surgery, systemic therapy or radiation therapy may be performed. However, in recent years, significant advancements have been made in systemic treatments, particularly immunotherapy, which, through the combination of various drugs, has significantly increased the survival and quality of life for patients with advanced kidney tumors.
What is the Post-Treatment Patient Care?
The primary objectives of post-treatment monitoring are the detection of potential disease recurrence (whether local, in the contralateral kidney, retroperitoneal lymph nodes, or other organs) and the surveillance of renal function.
The plan to be established primarily depends on the type of kidney tumor, which is categorized based on the pathological analysis of the surgical specimen and the prior staging. The type of treatment performed also impacts the frequency of follow-up.
Usually, follow-up appointments are more frequent in the initial phase and may become less frequent over time. Typically, this involves assessments through laboratory tests and imaging exams such as renal ultrasound, computed tomography, or nuclear magnetic resonance.
Want to know more about kidney cancer treatments?
Dr. José Santos Dias
Clinical Director of the Instituto da Próstata
- Bacherlor's Degree from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Lisbon
- Specialist in Urology
- Fellow of the European Board of Urology
- Autor dos livros "Tudo o que sempre quis saber Sobre Próstata", "Urologia fundamental na Prática Clínica", "Urologia em 10 minutos","Casos Clínicos de Urologia" e "Protocolos de Urgência em Urologia"
FAQs about Kidney Cancer
Que exames são feitos antes do Tratamento do Tumor do Rim?
Quais são os Tratamentos para o Tumor do Rim?
Que tipos de cirurgia existem para o tratamento do Tumor do Rim?
O doente recebe acompanhamento pós-tratamento?
- DIAS, José Santos. Urologia Fundamental: na prática clínica. Lisboa: Lidel - Edições Técnicas, Lda, 2010.
- Kidney Cancer Treatments - https://www.nm.org/conditions-and-care-areas/cancer-care/genitourinary-cancer-care/kidney-cancer/treatments
- Living as a Kidney Cancer Survivor - https://www.cancer.org/cancer/kidney-cancer/after-treatment/follow-up.html