Kidney Cancer: Talking to Your Doctor About Treatment

By: Urology Care Foundation | Posted on: 25 Mar 2020

Kidney Cancer

Finding out you have kidney cancer can be overwhelming. You may have many questions about your treatment options and what lies ahead. Being able to talk with your urologist about your preferences for treatment is important.

Together, you can make the best decision for your care. Treating kidney cancer depends on many things. Your exact diagnosis, general health and where the cancer is found are all a part of choosing the best treatment plan.

The cancer's stage, grade and location will also help determine your care plan. You should ask many questions along the way to help you feel confident about your next steps.

Kidney Cancer Treatment and Side Effects

The goal of kidney cancer treatment is to protect the function of the kidney as much as possible. Surgery is often the main treatment. Depending on tumor size, there are also nonsurgical treatments available. Sometimes active surveillance is used.

This is where you and your urologist monitor the tumor and only treat it if it grows. For kidney cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, surgery, targeted therapies, immunotherapy, clinical trials or a combination of these may be your best approach. These are decisions you and your urologist will make together. 

For more information on treatment options visit our Kidney Cancer Web Article.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

  • What are my treatment options?
  • How quickly do we need to decide on a treatment plan?
  • How long will treatment last? Where will it be done?
  • Will surgery work for me and what are the chances it will help?
  • What should I expect after surgery?
  • Do you recommend adjuvant therapy?
  • What targeted or immunotherapies do you recommend for me and why?
  • Are there clinical trials I should consider?
  • Can you tell me about support services that can help me during or after treatment?
  • What is the chance my cancer will return?

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