My Decision


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.


Post Operation:


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 consultation:


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 size.

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A biographical report of my Kidney Cancer Cryosurgical treatment. By K Henley. Revised 10 February 2003