Kidney cancer is when abnormal cells grow out of control in one or both of the kidneys. Your doctor will do tests to see if the cancer is in the kidney only or has spread to other parts of the body. Then you and your doctor can decide on treatment. Surgery may be used to remove the cancer and all or part of the kidney. If you cannot have surgery, you may have radiation or treatment that cuts off the blood supply to the cancer (arterial embolization). You also may have medicine that kills cancer cells (chemotherapy). And your doctor may recommend immunotherapy, which uses the body's own immune system to treat an illness.
Many people still have the use of one or both kidneys after treatment for early kidney cancer. If you do not have a working kidney after treatment, you will need to have your blood cleaned by a machine (dialysis) or have a kidney transplant. Being treated for cancer can weaken your body, and you may feel very tired. Home treatment can help you feel better.
Finding out that you have cancer is scary. You may feel many emotions and may need some help coping. Seek out family, friends, and counsellors for support. You also can do things at home to make yourself feel better while you go through treatment. Call the Canadian Cancer Society (1-888-939-3333) or visit its website at www.cancer.ca for more information.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Jimmy Ruiz, MD - Medical Oncology, Hematology
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