There are non-surgical approaches to treat kidney cancer. If a patient is not a candidate for surgery or prefers not to have a surgical procedure, there's a whole category of kidney cancer treatments called ablation. Ablation simply means killing the cancer or the tumor, the lesion, those are all synonyms, without removing it from the body. Generally speaking, there's two broad approaches: a radiologist sticks a needle in the back into the kidney and into the tumor, either heats it up very hot so the cells can't survive, or freezes it with an ice ball to kill the cells. Either way you could think of this similarly, to going to the dermatologist and having a growth on your skin frozen off with liquid nitrogen. All it leaves is a small scar. Similarly with kidney cancer, there are ways to ablate or kill the tumor inside the kidney with a very minimally invasive approach that doesn't require surgery. The long-term success rates are not quite as high as surgical removal, but may strike a good balance in patients who are older or who have other medical conditions.
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