If you have been diagnosed with kidney cancer and the disease is in its early stages, your doctor may wish to treat you using a technique called cryotherapy. This article will explain everything you need to know about cryotherapy and how it can help to combat kidney cancer. Read on to find out more about this kidney cancer treatment.
How cryotherapy works to kill cancerous cells
Cryotherapy is designed to kill cancerous cells by exposing them to very low temperatures. The low temperatures cause the cells to rupture and die. Your body's immune defences will then expel the dead cells.
How doctors prepare you for cryotherapy
Before commencing with the treatment, your oncologist will perform an ultrasound scan and x-ray your kidneys. This will allow the doctor to accurately locate the location of the cancerous growth and to measure its size and development. The medical team may also conduct keyhole surgery so they can take a biopsy of the cancerous cells so they can assess which stage the cancer is at.
How cryotherapy is performed
Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the cancerous cells in your kidney. A surgeon will insert a needle through the skin in your abdomen and into the part of your kidney which contains the cancerous growth. A small amount of liquid nitrogen is then inserted into the kidney via the needle, and it freezes and destroys the cancerous cells.
The benefits of cryotherapy
Cryotherapy offers a number of benefits over other kidney cancer treatments. Perhaps the main advantage of undergoing cryotherapy is that you can treat the cancer without needing to have your kidney removed. Cryotherapy is a short-duration treatment, which means you won't have to face the sorts of extended side effects which are associated with chemotherapy such as nausea and hair loss.
The possible side effects and complications
As with any type of surgery, there is a risk of side effects and complications when undergoing cryotherapy. For example, you may experience muscle weakness due to nerve damage or localised bleeding which may require a blood transfusion. However, the medical team will do everything they can to prevent these things from occurring.
If you are interested in finding out more about cryotherapy, you should ask about it at your next hospital consultation or when you next speak to your doctor or oncologist. They will be happy to discuss this type of treatment and its suitability for the cancer which is affecting your kidneys.