Kidney Cancer Symptoms and Treatment in Las Vegas
Each year in United States, 54,000 Americans are diagnosed with cancer of the kidneys. Kidney cancer is slighlty more common in men. This cancer can occur in the working tissue of the kidney called renal cell carcinoma or in the plumbing of the kidney called urothelial carcinoma. 13,000 men and women do not survive this disease annually. A strong risk factor is history of tobacco use or secondary exposure to tobacco smoke. Symptoms of kidney cancer are blood in the urine or flank pain however, these symptoms often present when the cancer is already in an advanced stage. Microscopic blood (invisible to the eye but detected by a simple urine test) is often the first early sign. Many kidney cancers are found incidentally in patients who undergo imaging for an unrelated medical condition.
Kidney Cancer Treatment
If a kidney cancer is too large and involves a major portion of the kidney, the entire kidney is removed. This surgical treatment is called a radical nephrectomy and can be done using robotic or laparoscopic technique. The daVinci surgical system allows the surgeon to remove the kidney with unequalled precision through small key-hole size incisions. Minimally invasive surgery has replaced the traditional open radical nephrectomy throught a long, painful, flank incision. Dr Lesani performs robotic assisted radical nephrectomy in most cases except in those which the tumor is exceptionally large.
If a kidney cancer is small to moderate sized and is far from vital blood supply of the organ, a kidney-sparing procedure can be performed. This procedure is called a partial nephrectomy. Partial nephrectomy is also referred to as nephron-sparing or kidney-sparing surgery. Only the cancerous part of the kidney is removed leaving the healthy portion intact. This technique preserves functional reserve of the kidney and minimized chances of kidney failure and dialysis later on in life. Dr Lesani performed the first robotic assisted partial nephrectomy in Southern Nevada in 2008 and continues to make kidney sparing surgery a priority for those affected with this disease.
Cryoablation or freezing of tumors in the kidney is another minimally invasive option. It is performed using robotic or laparoscopic technique. In this innovative treatment, small needle-like probes are inserted throught the body directly into the tumor and the tumor is frozen in place. With this approach, there is no need to cut or remove the tumor. The risk of bleeding or developing a urine leak from the kidney are less than with a partial nephrectomy. Cancer control rate however is slightly less than that of a partial nephrectomy.
Radiofrequency (RF) ablation is still used for treatment of small kidney tumros in some centers around the country. Unlike cryoablation which freezes the tumor, radiofrequency ablation heats the tumor causing destruction of cancerous tissue. Dr Lesani is trained in and has performed radiofrequency ablation of the kidney. However, this technique has fallen out of favor compared to cryoablation due to its lower cancer control and higher complication rates.
Cyberknife treatment is a form of high dose radiation used to cause tissue damage. This treatment is not a standard treatment for kidney cancers. Las Vegas Cyberknife Treatment Center explains it role for "medically inoperable and patients who are ineligible for surgery or chemotherapy".