MaryO'Note: It was so fast between ending up with bleeding/pain to the ER to diagnosis and surgery that I never had time to learn much about my cancer in pre-op. This is a great synopsis for anyone who might be having symptoms of kidney cancer or in the testing phases.
Personally, I often worry about recurrences, especially when it's scan time. A website that I'm on calls that "scanxiety" and I like that term. The scans don't hurt but you're lying there, imagining what they're finding.
Because of my kidney cancer and scans for that, I was found to have lung nodules. So, now those are watched through scans. Because of watching the nodules, I was found to have an enlarged lymph node. Hopefully that's the end of it. The node will shrink, the nodules won't grow, the cancer won't come back.
But, I'll always wonder...
Are You Suffering From Kidney Cancer?
by Sunil on October 13, 2009
Anyone affected with cancer faces uncertainty and anxiety. He often worries about the illness with a dozen of questions about the situation he or she is experiencing. A person with kidney cancer is no different. A kidney cancer patient will often worry about a lot of things primarily about getting the proper treatment including getting all tumor removed. Additionally, he may worry about whether the cancer will come back or having to undergo an array of medical tests, scheduled treatments and even hospital stays. Medical bills are also prime concern and these can also worry patients with any serious illness. Furthermore, kidney cancer patients often worry about how to hold on with his job despite the illness.
Kidney cancer’s primary choice of treatment is surgery. However, each patient requires different forms of treatment or a combination thereof depending on his age and general health and the stage of cancer. Kidney cancer is resistant to radiation. This is the reason why radiation is only used when there is already lymph node or kidney area involvement. Additionally, radiation treatment is only done when the cancer has already spread to other areas and the cancer cells can no longer be completely removed. It has been observed that drug therapy has been inconsistently effective against kidney cancer. Aside from radical nephrectomy, or the surgical removal of the kidney, some procedures are also being done to kidney cancer patients. These include procedures like arterial embolization, radiation therapy, biological therapy and hormone therapy.
Post-operative care is necessary in order to help kidney cancer patients recover more easily from surgery. He also needs supportive treatment, which includes relief from symptoms and side effects caused by treatments including chemotherapy and radiation. Kidney cancer patients will also benefit from psychological reassurance. This will speed up recovery and even minimize complications.
Taking care of a loved one who is suffering from kidney cancer is not easy. If the patient has to undergo surgery, you need to encourage him to express his fears and anxieties. You can talk to him and assure him that his body will be able to adapt soon to the kidney loss. It will also be beneficial if the patient is aware of any possible side effects after radiation or chemotherapy. His doctor or nurse may be able to talk with him about these. Medical professionals most often teach the patient some post-operative procedures to make the recovery easier. These include diaphragmatic breathing, proper coughing and how to support the incision while coughing. After surgery, you can aid the patient by regularly reminding him to comply with the doctor’s prescribed outpatient treatment including taking all the necessary medications. The doctor almost always will prescribe an annual follow-up chest x-ray. This procedure will rule out any spread of cancer to the lungs. Additionally, a procedure called intravenous pyelography maybe prescribed every 6 to 12 months in order to check for any budding tumors.
Finally, the length of recovery time from treatment including surgery, radiation or chemotherapy varies from individual to individual. Patients who undergo surgery will often complain of post-operative pain and discomfort accompanied with weakness and exhaustion. Family support and understanding are important during a patient’s recovery period.