Introduction: What is Kidney Cancer?
Kidney cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK. When cells in either kidney start growing and multiplying abnormally, they form a tumour. Kidney cancer is more common in older adults over the age of 60 and is rare in people under 50 years. This cancer usually affects only one kidney, and both are rarely involved.
When diagnosed early, kidney cancer can be cured entirely. Treatment may become challenging in advanced cases where the cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body.
Kidney cancer is of different types with renal cell carcinoma being the most prevalent. The most common symptoms of this cancer are blood in urine, persistent pain in the lower back or just below the ribs or a lump or swelling on the side of the abdomen. In some cases, the cancer cells may also spread to the nearby lymph nodes.
How Is Kidney Cancer Treated?
A multidisciplinary team of specialists is involved in kidney cancer treatment. The treatment options depend upon factors like type and stage of cancer, its location, extent of spread and grade of cancer. The doctor will also assess kidney function, overall health and individual preferences.
Standard treatment options for kidney cancer are:
Surgery is the preferred line of treatment for kidney cancers. The type and extent of surgery will depend on the cancer stage and the individual’s overall health. During surgery, the surgeon will remove as much of the cancerous tissue as possible and sometimes, even the affected kidney to prevent the spread of the tumour cells. The doctor may also remove the surrounding tissue and affected lymph nodes to prevent cancer recurrence.
Ablation and cryotherapy use excessively high or low temperatures to kill cancer cells. These procedures treat early-stage, small kidney cancers as an alternative to surgery.
Like ablation therapy, radiofrequency treatment uses radio waves to kill cancer cells by heating the tissue. This treatment is performed under general or local anaesthesia and is preferred in the following cases:
This treatment is performed when surgery is not advisable. Arterial embolisation shrinks the tumour and reduces symptoms by cutting off the blood supply to the tumour.
This treatment uses strong anti-cancer drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy is not used to treat renal cell carcinoma but is effective in treating transitional cell cancer of the kidney. Your doctor and health team will determine the chemotherapy drugs that may be effective for your kidney cancer.
Though a standard treatment option in cancer treatment, radiation therapy is not preferred for kidney cancer as this cancer is less sensitive to radiation than others.
Radiotherapy may be used for kidney cancer in the following cases:
This treatment is similar to chemotherapy but uses drugs that target cancer cells. Targeted drug therapy reduces the risk of cancer recurrence after surgery and is the primary treatment for advanced kidney cancer cases.
Immunotherapy is a biological therapy that uses drugs to stimulate your body’s immunity to attack and destroy cancer cells. This treatment may reduce the risk of kidney cancer returning after surgical tumour removal. Immunotherapy may be occasionally used to treat some types of advanced kidney cancers.
Cancer treatments cause side effects that usually resolve once treatment is completed.
How Can Klarity Oncology Help?
Cancer care can be complicated and overwhelming. Cancer can be too much to cope with, from multiple doctor visits to getting priority appointments and keeping track of your treatment sessions. At Klarity Oncology, our dedicated cancer care team supports you throughout your kidney cancer journey. It keeps you informed about your appointments, helps you get priority appointments with top oncologists for second opinions and assists you with all your cancer needs. You can leave everything to us.
Kidney Cancer Treatment Cost in the UK
The cost of kidney cancer varies depending upon the cancer stage at the time of diagnosis, treatment options and patient preferences. While most health insurance providers cover cancer treatment costs, you must always check with your provider for inclusions and exclusions in your policy. Undergoing kidney cancer treatment at private cancer care centres and hospitals is more expensive than in public establishments. It is advisable to discuss your treatment cost with your doctor and healthcare team before beginning.
How Is Kidney Cancer Treatment Cost Calculated?
Several factors affect the cost of kidney cancer treatment in the UK. Your doctor will give an approximate cost for your kidney cancer treatment. This cost is usually calculated considering the following factors:
The cost estimate which is given to you before your treatment is an approximate one. It is recommended to keep additional funds for procedures or treatments that may be needed as your treatment progresses.
Talk to Us
If you are confused about your kidney cancer diagnosis or treatment plan, ask your doctor for a second opinion from another specialist. Need help with priority second opinion or follow-up appointments with the top oncologists in the UK? We are here for you. Connect with us now!