More than 60,000 new cases of kidney cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year. Over 13,000 deaths are estimated to occur yearly as a result of this disease. Kidney cancer is often left undetected for many years as it grows slowly without any associated symptoms. The increasing use of CT and MRI scans has led to earlier detection of this disease, allowing patients to seek treatment at an earlier stage.
Many years ago, the standard treatment for kidney cancer was complete removal of the affected kidney (total nephrectomy). Over the last decade, surgical techniques have dramatically improved to allow patients to undergo less invasive (laparoscopic) and more kidney preserving surgeries (partial nephrectomy). Maintaining normal kidney function is of paramount importance are we age and preserving as much of the kidney’s function is a major goal of newer therapies for kidney cancer.
Non-Surgical Treatment for Kidney Cancer
In the Division of Interventional Radiology at Mount Sinai, we are offering our patients minimally invasive non –surgical treatments for kidney cancer. Many patients choose not to undergo surgery or have risk factors for surgery that make minimally invasive options more attractive.
In collaboration with the Department of Urology, potential patients for this treatment are presented all options and the best treatment is determined using a multidisciplinary or “team” approach.
Modern image guided percutaneous therapies use thermal energy or extreme temperatures to destroy or “ablate” the cancer cells. This is performed using heat or cold based technologies. Under “light” anesthesia, small needles are inserted through the skin into the affected kidney. These techniques are known as cryoablation, radiofrequency ablation (RF) and microwave ablation.