Many people undergo ablation therapies in Australia quite successfully every year. However, compared with other anti-cancer therapies, like certain surgical procedures or chemotherapy, it is not so well known. In fact, laser ablation therapy is frequently used as a bladder cancer treatment these days. It is also widely used among kidney cancer patients as a treatment for their tumours, too. What is it, how does it work and what can you expect if your bladder or kidney cancer treatment comes in this form?
The Two Types of Anti-Cancer Ablation Therapy
To begin with, your doctor may recommend an ablation therapy to try and destroy the cancer cells in your bladder, kidney or other organs, in some cases. However, two types of therapy come under the umbrella term of ablation treatment. Both involve similar processes but one, known as radio-frequency ablation, heats the targeted cells to get rid of them. The other takes the reverse approach and aims to deal with them by lowering their temperature. This is known as cryotherapy whereby the cancerous cells are frozen.
How Is Ablation Therapy Carried Out?
One of the most important things to know about ablation therapy as a bladder or a kidney cancer treatment is that it aims to be as non-invasive as possible. That said, to reach your internal organs, a small incision is sometimes required. Where this is the case, it is much less invasive than conventional surgery, however. So-called laparoscopic cryotherapy requires a small cut in the skin close to the affected area through which a needle can be pushed. This then delivers the freezing treatment to precisely where it is needed.
Percutaneous cryotherapy, on the other hand, requires no incision to be made. That said, the skin is punctured, under an anaesthetic, to allow the cold needle to pass through. In the case of radio-frequency ablation, a small probe is inserted into the body which means that only a tiny hole is left to heal once the procedure has been carried out. Where bladder cancers are being treated by radio-frequency ablation, the probe may be pushed through the urethra. However, this is usually not possible for kidney cancer treatments.
The Pros and Cons of Ablation Therapy
Many patients like the fact that they won't have to undergo energy-sapping chemotherapy or recover from major surgery because of the ablation therapies being offered to them. The use of lasers is tried and tested and it means that impacted blood vessels can be sealed to prevent internal tissue from bleeding too much. However, some patients report that they need to urinate more frequently as a result of this treatment, and they can also sense a burning feeling when they go to the toilet afterwards.
Speak to a medical practitioner about kidney cancer treatments and bladder cancer treatments to learn more.