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Change treatment for small tumours: expert

Change treatment for small tumours: expert - Featured Image

A leading UK cancer expert says Australian patients would benefit from a change in the way small tumours are treated.

Professor Andreas Adam from King’s College London is in Australia for the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia’s Annual Scientific Meeting in Hobart this week.

He says treatment of small tumours using minimally invasive techniques with medical imaging helps avoid invasive surgery and longer hospital stays.

Interventional oncology is particularly important in the treatment of kidney cancers.

“Typically, smaller tumours in the kidney have been monitored by urologists rather than operated on. The risks of surgery for these patients have been considered not to be justified, because they rarely give rise to secondary tumours,” he says.

“However, there is increasing evidence from large studies that small kidney tumours give rise to secondaries more often than was previously thought. This means we need to be more proactive in assessing and treating this type of cancer.

Related: Skin rash, a kidney mass and a family mystery dating back to World War II

“Interventional radiologists can destroy these tumours using techniques that have lower risks than surgery, thus justifying treatment at an earlier stage rather than waiting for them to grow.”

These learnings could be applied in Australia, Clinical Oncology Society of Australia President, Professor Mei Krishnasamy says.

“Interventional radiation oncology is an emerging field in Australia and the shortage of practitioners could be having a negative impact on our cancer patients,” Professor Krishnasamy says.

“Sharing knowledge about the benefits of this innovative form of treatment is crucial to ensuring that interventional oncology and radiology gets the recognition it deserves.”

The theme of this year’s COSA ASM is Rare cancers – Common goals’.

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