Kidney Cancer When You Have Only 1 Kidney

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Another problem, kidney cancer that affects people who have only 1 kidney may also cause some additional complications. Therefore, doctors not only need to make appropriate treatment plan but also give the treatment more carefully.


The treatment goal is not only to remove the cancer but also to preserve the kidney as much as possible. Because people need at least one functioning kidney to keep survive!

If you do need surgical treatment option, it is usually not intended to remove the whole of one kidney. The surgery is only used to remove small bit of the affected surrounding tissue or to remove only the tumor. If surgery is not the option, other treatments can be used such as:

  1. Cryotherapy (alternative names include cryoablation and cryosurgery). It uses a special, small needle that is inserted into the kidney through the skin. To insert the needle into the target accurately, it also use X-ray guidance. Then gas flows through the needle to freeze and shrink the cancer cells. You can take this treatment under a local anesthetic, or general anesthetic if necessary.
  2. Radiofrequency ablation, a procedure that uses electrical current to heat the cancer cells. In this treatment, a special needle is inserted through the skin to the target (with X-ray guidance). Then electrical current run through this needle to heat up the tumor and kill it.

Each cancer treatment (including cryotherapy and radiofrequency ablation) carries the risk of side effects. Discus more this issue with your doctor before taking the treatment! But in general, any treatment you take should outweigh the risks!

Each case of cancer is unique. There’s no any statistic that can tell exactly what will happen! Even though if you have only 1 kidney, there is always a chance to cope with the disease.


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