Other treatments for early kidney cancer
If you are not well enough for surgery and the tumour is small, other treatments to destroy or control the cancer may be recommended.
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This procedure uses high-energy radio waves to heat the tumour. The heat kills the cancer cells and forms internal scar tissue.
The doctor inserts a fine needle into the tumour through the skin, using a CT scan as a guide. An electrical current is passed into the tumour from the needle. RFA takes about 15 minutes and you can usually go home after a few hours.
Side effects, including pain or fever, can be managed with medicines.
Also known as cryosurgery, cryotherapy kills cancer cells by freezing them. This treatment is not widely used in Australia.
Under a general anaesthetic, a cut is made in the abdomen. The doctor inserts a probe through the cut into the tumour. The probe gets very cold, which freezes and kills the cancer cells. Cryotherapy takes about 60 minutes.
Side effects include bleeding and leaking urine.
This is also called stereotactic ablative body radiation therapy (SABR) and is a specialised form of radiation therapy. It is a way of giving a highly focused dose of radiation therapy to a primary kidney cancer when surgery is not possible due to other health conditions.
SBRT is painless and is usually delivered over one to three days.
A/Prof Daniel Moon, Urologic Surgeon, Australian Urology Associates, and Honorary Clinical Associate Professor, The University of Melbourne, VIC; Polly Baldwin, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Ian Basey, Consumer; Gregory Bock, Urology Cancer Nurse Coordinator, WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network, North Metropolitan Health Service, WA; Tina Forshaw, Advanced Practice Nurse Urology, Canberra Health Services, ACT; Dr Suki Gill, Radiation Oncologist, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, WA; Karen Walsh, Nurse Practitioner, Urology Services, St Vincents Private Hospital Northside, QLD; Dr Alison Zhang, Medical Oncologist, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and Macquarie University Hospital, NSW.
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