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Kidney Cancer Treatment

Remembering Questions and Answers

Many people with kidney cancer want to take an active part in making decisions about their medical care and their kidney cancer treatment. However, the shock and stress after a kidney cancer diagnosis can make it hard to think of everything to ask the doctor. Some patients find that it is helpful to make a list of questions before their appointment.

(Click Kidney Cancer Questions for a list of questions to ask your doctor prior to starting treatment.)

Healthcare Providers Who Help Treat Kidney Cancer

There are usually several healthcare providers involved in a person's treatment for kidney cancer. The doctor may refer patients to doctors who specialize in treating kidney cancer, or patients may ask for a referral. Specialists who treat kidney cancer include:
  • Surgeons
  • Urologists
  • Medical oncologists
  • Radiation oncologists
  • Urologic oncologists.

Getting a Second Opinion

Sometimes it is helpful to have a second opinion concerning the kidney cancer diagnosis and the treatment plan. While some insurance companies require a second opinion, others may cover a second opinion if the patient or doctor requests it.

Treatment Options

The doctor is the best person to describe the treatment choices and to discuss the expected results. The doctor and patient should work together to develop a treatment plan that fits the patient's needs.
Depending on the type and extent of kidney cancer, treatment may involve:
  • Surgery
  • Arterial embolization
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Biological therapy
  • A combination of these methods.
At any stage of disease, treatment for kidney cancer may also be used to:
  • Control pain and other symptoms
  • Relieve the side effects of therapy
  • Ease emotional and practical problems.
This kind of treatment is called supportive care, symptom management, or palliative care.

(Click Kidney Cancer Treatment by Stage for more information.)
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