Bengaluru hospital treats septuagenarian with rare double cancer

Doctors here have successfully treated a 74-year-old patient from Afghanistan diagnosed with stage II oesophagus cancer along with a tumour in the kidney. While cancers of the esophagus are not uncommon, double cancers such as synchronous oesophageal and kidney cancer have been rarely reported in medical history, said the doctors at Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road on Monday.

The patient was in a poor condition and was suffering from progressive inability to swallow food for seven months. He was being fed through a pipe inserted into his stomach.

The patient’s condition required immediate surgical intervention along with chemotherapy. The team of doctors decided to treat both the cancers simultaneously under one administration of anaesthesia considering his advanced age and the risk factors involved in performing the procedure.

“For patients with oesophageal cancer, chemotherapy and radiotherapy play a crucial role before opting for surgical treatment. Thus, we adopted chemoradiation as the initial line of treatment to control local disease and to contain the spread of cancer. Additionally, chemoradiation would also improve the survival rate with better clinical outcomes as compared to surgery alone,” said Dr Niti Raizada, Director – Medical Oncology and Hemato-Oncology, Fortis Cancer Institute, in a statement.

“Post completion of chemoradiation therapy, he was further considered for robotic oesophagostomy, but as he was also diagnosed with kidney tumour, a robotic assisted partial nephrectomy was also done at the same time,” Raizada added.

Through oesophagectomy, the doctors removed the oesophagus that had tumour, along with a portion of the upper part of the stomach, and nearby lymph nodes to prevent the spread of cancer in the body.

“Generally, in such procedures there are chances that patients might face respiratory problems, but since we had performed robotic assisted procedures, it reduced the post-surgery complications. The patient is now able to eat food normally without any difficulty in swallowing,” said Dr Mohan Keshavamurthy, Director Urology, Uro-oncology, Andrology, Transplant & Robotic Surgery, Fortis Hospitals, Bengaluru.

As per studies, synchronous development of oesophageal and kidney tumours is extremely unusual, which can lead to difficult problems in healing. While surgical resection of both tumours is the only chance for cure, in resectable cases, it is often associated with an increased risk of postoperative complications along with mortality, such as leakage or infection, induced renal dysfunction due to a large degree of surgical stress.