From all of the documentation I reviewed of which only a small portion is included
in this web site. It was now time to make a very important decision now on what option
to take. This decision would affect my future lifestyle and longevity. I had to consider
my age, my fitness level and my financial situation or to possibly defer my decision.
At my age of 80 I decided that it would be foolish to defer any treatment. The longer
I delayed taking any action the less the options available. I considered eventually
only a partial nephrectomy or cryosurgery would be the least traumatic for me. From
all the reports I had read cryosurgery was far less intrusive and as such had a quicker
recovery period. On the other hand cryosurgery has only a short history and no records
beyond 5 years, although these reports were all positive.
After reviewing my financial situation I made the decision to take the cryosurgery
option as being the best for me. On the 12 th January 2004 I reported to the Academical
Medical Center Amsterdam for Laparoscopic cryosurgery. My operation took place on
the 13 th January 2004 and was performed by Dr B W Lagerveld.
I am pleased now that I took the cryosurgery option. It is one week after my operation
and I am already feeling well. Today I walked three mile without any pain and except
for a little tiredness I had no after effects.
I was told by email by Kidney Cancer UK that cryosurgery was a very painful operation;
I found that they were wrong my pain was very minimal. I had some pain for the first
two days in my left abdomen area which was bearable, it diminished over the week
and I only got a little twinge in certain positions for three weeks.
I will report periodically on this site giving my progress. At the moment everything
is rosy I sincerely hope it continues. My first complete check up is in April and
I will keep you all posted.
After my operation I was told the following facts by the surgeon who carried out
the operation: My cryosurgery operation was the 3rd in Holland, the 50th with the
new Oncura equipment and the 150th in the world.
I feel very grateful for this procedure.
AMC Follow up visit 14 th April 2004
I attended AMC Amsterdam on the 14 th February 2004 for the first of my check ups
following my kidney cancer cryosurgery. Firstly I had an ultrasound scan then a CT
scan followed by a consultation with Doctor Lagerveld, This is a synopsis of that
Doctor Lagerveld firstly asked about my health and any residual problems from the
cryosurgery. I was happy to respond that I felt quite healthy and was fit enough
to play golf again, I had no after effects from the surgery apart from the first
two to three weeks. I did not think about the cancer any more.
An audio report from the Doctor who had done my ultrasound scan was available also
the images from the CT scan.
We looked at the images from the CT scan and it was explained to me how by using
the two images before and after the infusion of chemicals in the blood stream, the
different organs and arteries could be recognized. The actual location of the cancer
was pointed out, I was told that it was now smaller and the hard core had disappeared
and been replaced by softer tissue.
The ultrasound Doctor had compared the image of my cancer in January with the new
scan and stated there was a definite reduction in size, he estimated that the current
size was 2 centimeters compared with the 2.6 centimeters.
I then asked “Is the cancer now dead”? It was explained that it was impossible to
determine that at this time. The history of this technology is not long and there
is not enough scientific data available to accurately answer that question. W e expect
to have some more scientific data later this year when the 5 year follow-up data
of a group of 32 patients will be published.
I was told that the lesion got smaller and the aspect of the lesion does not appear
to be vital , it would not disappear completely. It is most likely that it would
never trouble me again.
I was also told that 10 to 15% of these small renal tumors are not expected to be
cancer, although they appear to look like one on radio diagnostic imaging. This means
essentially that they don't have to be treated. You can only know that for sure if
you take the tumor out. By doing Cryotheropy you will never be sure if this was a
malignant tumor, although it has the appearance of one. Cryotheropy is then a minimal
invasive treatment option with a low risk of complications compared to excision of
the complete kidney (over treatment) or partial excision of the kidney which includes
the tumor (Risk of bleeding and urinary leakage). After any kind of therapy you will
see failures which mean recurrence of cancer disease. After Cryotheropy that is more
difficult to distinguish because on the radio diagnostic imaging you will always
see a lesion (scar) on the kidney. If the Cryotheropy did not eradicate all tumor
cells one might expect growth of the lesion. In other words as long the tumour on
the images gets smaller, this is a good sign. It will never disappear completely.
Follow-up is needed to see if an increasing tumor volume can be noticed. This is
why regular monitoring is essential. Should my cancer start to grow again all my
options are still available as are the choices of treatments including cryosurgery.
Dr Lagervelt is writing to my urology consultant in England with his recommended
procedure for future follow up monitoring. He stated that for his own research he
would wish to be kept informed of my progress.
Follow up Checks
I was informed that it is essential to have regular follow up scans to check both
the progress of my cryosurgery. Also to check that no further growths has occurred
in the Kidneys.
I had scans in August 1944 then at six monthly intervals, at each scan the results
showed a reduction in the cacncer size. My latest check up was in January 2006, I
had an Ultrasound scan and my consultant said the scan showed that my cancer was
stable and the size was now 16mm, this shows that my cancer is still reducing in