Dr Rowland Illing, Consultant Interventional Oncologist in London points out that increasing numbers of people are discovering that they have asymptomatic kidney tumours following a routine scan, and that this is due to technological advances in imaging. He says, "Often people find themselves diagnosed with a kidney tumour when in fact they had imaging for completely unrelated symptoms".
When Diagnostics combine with Therapy
This may come as a a shock for patients on being told they have a renal tumour, but from the medical perspective it is better to be able to detect this form of cancer as soon as possible. Further, it is thanks to these remarkably advanced imaging methods that tumours can be accurately visualised, in real time, and ablated.The technology has therefore generated a whole new form of effective cancer therapy called Interventional Oncology.
However, prior to any decisions made as to which treatment modality might be preferred, or the decision to proceed with ablation is taken - the patient's situation should be reviewed within the context of a multidisciplinary team. This team will include the treating clinican, surgeon and oncologist. Dr Illing points out that, "Although the treating clinician is often a Radiologist, this field of image guided direct tumour treatment has been termed ‘Interventional Oncology’".
Situations that may indicate that ablation for kidney cancer is appropriate include:
- The patient does not wish to undergo surgery
- · The patient is deemed unfit / high risk for surgery
- · There is a solitary kidney or poor renal function
- · There are bilateral tumours or a genetic predisposition to multiple tumours
- · Tumour position would necessitate a radical nephrectomy, but ablation would be technically feasible
For further information on types of ablation for kidney cancer - click here.