Renal Cryotherapy Puts Kidney Cancer On Ice
Renal cell kidney carcinomas are the third most common genitourinary malignancy behind prostate and bladder cancer. Their incidence, which is most common in adults between 50 and 70 years of age, has increased in the past two to three decades. Most kidney cancers are found incidentally when CT, MRI, or ultrasound scans are performed for other purposes. As a result, many of these cancers are quite small. Depending on their location and size, cancerous tissue can be destroyed using minimally invasive therapies, such as cryotherapy, that preserve normal kidney tissue.
Cryotherapy employs laparoscopy to assist with the placement of thin needles into the tumor, transforming it into a ball of ice. Two separate freeze/thaw cycles are then completed, killing all of the cancer cells, along with a thin rim of normal cells. The same amount of diseased tissue is treated when compared with conventional surgical techniques.
Benefits of cryotherapy are decreased operative time, less blood loss, and the use of small incisions as compared to more traditional, open approaches. These factors allow for a speedier postoperative recovery. Studies indicate that short-term (five year) cancer rates are encouraging, indicating that freezing kidney tumors is equally as effective as surgical removal.
“We have had great success using cryotherapy for tumors less than 3.5 centimeters (1 ½ inches), and for older patients in whom major surgery is a bit more risky,” said Alliance Urology Specialists physician Stephen Dahlstedt, M.D. “Our focus remains on offering the most effective, least invasive treatment options for patients.”
For more information about renal cryotherapy or other treatments for kidney cancer, call
Return to the newsletter page