Kidney Cancer (cont.)
In this Article
- Kidney cancer facts*
- What are the kidneys?
- What is cancer?
- What are kidney cancer causes and risk factors?
- What are kidney cancer symptoms and signs?
- How is kidney cancer diagnosed?
- How is kidney cancer staging determined?
- What are kidney cancer treatments?
- Targeted Therapy
- Biological Therapy
- Second Opinion
- Follow-up Care
- Sources of Support
- Taking Part in Cancer Research
- Find a local Oncologist in your town
Before starting treatment, you may want a second opinion about your diagnosis, stage of cancer, and treatment plan. Some people worry that the doctor will be offended if they ask for a second opinion. Usually the opposite is true. Most doctors welcome a second opinion. And many health insurance companies will pay for a second opinion if you or your doctor requests it. Some companies require a second opinion.
If you get a second opinion, the second doctor may agree with your first doctor's diagnosis and treatment plan. Or the second doctor may suggest another approach. Either way, you have more information and perhaps a greater sense of control. You can feel more confident about the decisions you make, knowing that you've looked at all of your options.
It may take some time and effort to gather your medical records and see another doctor. In most cases, it's not a problem to take several weeks to get a second opinion. The delay in starting treatment usually will not make treatment less effective. To make sure, you should discuss this delay with your doctor.
There are many ways to find a doctor for a second opinion. You can ask your doctor, a local or state medical society, a nearby hospital, or a medical school for names of specialists.
It's important for you to take very good care of yourself before, during, and after cancer treatment. Taking care of yourself includes eating well so that you get the right amount of calories to maintain a good weight. You also need enough protein to keep up your strength. Eating well may help you feel better and have more energy.
Sometimes, especially during or soon after treatment, you may not feel like eating. You may be uncomfortable or tired. You may find that foods don't taste as good as they used to. In addition, the side effects of some treatments (such as poor appetite, nausea, or vomiting) can make it hard to eat well.
Your doctor, a registered dietitian, or another health care provider can suggest ways to help you meet your nutrition needs.
You'll need regular checkups (such as every 6 months) after treatment for kidney cancer. Checkups help ensure that any changes in your health are noted and treated if needed.
Kidney cancer may come back after treatment. Your doctor will check for return of cancer. Checkups may include blood tests, a chest x-ray, CT scans, or an ultrasound.
Next: Sources of Support
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