The way of how to treat kidney cancer can vary, typically depending on the stage the cancer. Some treatment options are available. Unfortunately, these treatments can also carry side effects that are a lot to cope with. Although they probably provide benefits that outweigh the risks, there are still many patients who’re looking for alternative option such as holistic treatment.
The good news, kidney cancer is also one of the most susceptible cancers to immunotherapy. Even a few patients experience a condition called spontaneous regression, when the symptoms of the disease go away without active treatment – read more in here!
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Spontaneous regression is a rare phenomenon in cancers, including for kidney cancer. But if compared to other cancers, this phenomenon in kidney cancer is more common. Even here it is well documented. Therefore, some holistic providers believe that holistic treatment may work better for kidney cancer if compared to other cancers.
It is a form of healing that includes body, mind, emotions, and spirit (the whole person) – in the quest for the maximal health and wellness. One of the primary goals is to achieve maximal health by gaining the right, proper balance in life – according to the holistic treatment philosophy.
It’s also thought that your whole health is made up of interdependent parts. If there is something going wrong with one part, this will affect all the other parts. In other words, the imbalance of physical, emotional, or even spiritual in live will negatively affect the overall health.
The treatment is based on the principal that unconditional support and love play a key role. Even this may be the most responsible for your own health and well-being. Other principles in holistic treatment are as follows:
- Each individual has innate healing powers.
- The treatment uses a team approach that involves the holistic practitioner and patient – and addresses all aspects. In here, the patient is not a disease – but a person!
- Healing is aimed to find and treat the cause of the problem, not only just relieving the symptoms.
Holistic practitioners /doctors usually use the combination of all forms of health care, such as conventional treatments and alternative therapies. For example in a person with vertigo, instead of going out solely with conventional medications – all the potential factors such as diet, sleep habits, personal problem, stress, or other health problems potentially causing the person’s vertigo also will be evaluated.
Depending on the kind of the disease and the practitioner’s training, holistic treatment can include a variety of treatment techniques. The main ones include:
- Education about the most appropriate lifestyle changes to help cope with the problem and promote wellness. This may include changes in diet, exercise, spiritual /relationship counseling, or psychotherapy if necessary.
- Alternative, complementary treatments such as naturopathy, supplements, herbs, acupuncture, massage therapy, or others.
- Conventional treatments, western medicines such as surgical procedures if required.
The treatment is dependent on several factors, especially the type of kidney cancer and how far it has grown & spread (its stage). The general health, age, and personal preferences of patient may also have an effect.
The main treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy. Interestingly, the use of chemotherapy is not the common choice because it is not enough effective to treat kidney cancer.
If the cancer is still very small or not active, the patient may opt to delay or wait on the treatment. But the cancer is continuously monitored. Repeat scans may be required periodically.
When the cancer begins to grow, the treatment is necessary because it’s much easier to treat the cancer at its early stages. Surgery is usually the most common choice. It is mainly used to help remove the cancer.
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Depending on the stage of the cancer, surgery can completely remove the cancer to achieve a complete remission and better prognosis. A complete remission that lasts more than 5 years may lead to a cure, because the recurrence of cancer is less likely to occur 5 years or more after following the treatment. See also the chance to cure kidney cancer in this section!
If the cancer has become advanced, for example when it has metastasized (spread) to another distant organ, surgery may not be effective enough to remove the cancer. For such case, the cancer is likely to be treated with systemic treatments such as radiation therapy and immunotherapy.
Radiation therapy is used to help kill the cancer cells by radiating high-powered energy beams. It may also be involved to control the symptoms of metastatic kidney cancer (such as when the primary cancer in the kidney has spread to the bones).
Immunotherapy can be another main treatment. Rather than treating the cancer cells directly, immunotherapy is aimed at provoking the body immune system to be stronger to recognize and fight against the cancer cells. Again, kidney cancer is a susceptible malignance to immunotherapy.
Other treatments may include:
- Targeted therapy to block particular abnormal signal of the cancer that allows it to thrive.
- Radiofrequency ablation. It is a procedure to kill the cancer cells by running an electrical current, causing these cells to burn (heat up).
- Cryoablation, a procedure to freeze the cancer cells.
Each treatment for cancer has side effects. But in general, the decision of choosing each treatment should have benefits that outweigh the risks.
When it comes to treating cancer (including kidney cancer), many people have misperception about holistic treatment. Although it may help, it is not a ‘miracle cure’!
Cancer and its treatment are very difficult to cope. Some patients also worry that the conventional cancer treatments won’t work as well as expected. These may drive them to look for alternative treatment.
In other words, it’s important to NOT take decision on your own when it comes to treating cancer. If you do think that particular alternative treatment may help, ask your doctor first. If it does work, it may be suggested for a complementary therapy, not to replace the main treatment.
For examples, the following are some highly publicized products /therapies as ‘natural cancer cures’ BUT actually there’s still no medical /scientific evidence to show that they work: