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Kidney Cancer Treatment

Side Effects of Treatment

The treatments used for kidney cancer may damage healthy cells and tissues, which may lead to unwanted side effects. Specific side effects will depend on many factors, including the type and extent of the treatment. Side effects may not be the same for each person, and they may even change from one treatment session to the next. Before treatment starts, healthcare providers should explain possible side effects and offer suggestions on how to manage them.

Nutrition During Treatment for Kidney Cancer

It is important to eat well during and after kidney cancer treatment. Eating well may help you feel better and have more energy. However, eating well can be hard, especially during or soon after treatment when you may be uncomfortable or tired. Side effects of kidney cancer treatment may include:
  • Poor appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea.


Also, food may taste different than it used to before your cancer treatment. A registered dietitian can suggest ways to deal with these problems.


Clinical Trials

Before starting treatment for kidney cancer, patients may want to consider taking part in a clinical trial. A treatment clinical trial is a kidney cancer research study that is meant to improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with kidney cancer. When clinical trials show that a new kidney cancer treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment.

(Click Kidney Cancer Research for more information about clinical trials.)

Kidney Cancer Treatment: Follow-up Care

Follow-up care after treatment for kidney cancer is important. Even when there are no longer any signs of cancer, the disease can return if there are undetected cancer cells remaining somewhere in the body after treatment. During follow-up care, the doctor will monitor recovery and check for recurrence of cancer. Checkups help to ensure that any changes in health are noted and treated if needed. During follow-up care, the patient may need:
  • Lab tests
  • Chest x-rays
  • Computed tomography (CT) scans
  • Other tests.


Between scheduled visits, patients should contact their doctor if they have any health problems.

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