Washington, Mar 10: Patients suffering from kidney cancer may not always get appropriate treatment as the type of surgery they receive is often determined by the surgeons' practice style, rather than the patient's general medical health, a study found. US researchers assessed the use of kidney surgeries - radical nephrectomy, partial nephrectomy, and laparoscopy - among the patients, taking into consideration surgeon and patient-based factors that might have led to decisions about the type of treatment used.
The researchers considered factors including patient demographics, comorbidity, tumor size, and volume of surgeries done by each surgeon. They found considerable variation among surgeons in the type of surgery they performed. Factors based on surgeons' practice style contributed more to these variation than did patient characteristics, said the study published in 'Cancer', a journal of the American Cancer Society. Open radical nephrectomy is the standard surgical treatment for patients with localised kidney cancer, but partial nephrectomy and laparoscopic surgery have emerged as attractive alternatives that are less invasive but equally effective.
However, the surgeons did not adopt these surgurical techniques despite their benefits. The dismantling potential barriers to adoption of partial nephrectomy and renal laparoscopy by surgeons could improve the quality of care provided to patients with kidney cancer, the researchers concluded.