Most people have two kidneys, which act to filter the blood, producing urine. It is possible to manage with only one kidney, which can occur as a result of injury, or illness, or as a congenital difference (from birth). There are several different types of cancer that can develop in the kidneys, if cells grow outside their normal order. The changes in the cells associated with the different types of overgrowth, form a mass (or tumour) and are identified by the pathology analysis. This can then provide valuable information in deciding the most appropriate treatment and assessment strategies.
Some tumours are more common than others, and the different tumours pose different degrees of risk to health. Some tumours can be malignant, which means it can grow and spread to other parts of the body. This can occur at different rates, with some of these tumours changing very slowly (known as indolent, or lazy), and others changing more significantly. Tumours can also be benign, which means they can grow in size, but do not spread to other parts of the body.
Roger Watson has experience in all aspects of management of different kidney cancers. Treatment can involve surgical removal of the tumour, which can be done removing part or all of the kidney, accessed by different surgical approaches, including minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopic or robotic approach) and laparoscopically assisted surgery. Other treatment options include radiation therapy and chemotherapy, which can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments. The multidisciplinary team approach at the Mater Hospitals ensures patients have access to the full range of oncological specialities to deliver contemporary expert care.
Once treatment is completed, ongoing care often requires surveillance to ensure there are no future problems.