You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor or healthcare provider about your personal risk factors and/or experience with kidney cancer. By talking openly and regularly with your healthcare provider, you can take an active role in your care.
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your healthcare provider: Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.Write your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
What is the stage of my kidney cancer?What type of kidney cancer is it?Was it caught early or has it spread?
How do I best treat kidney cancer?
What are the risks and benefits associated with this treatment plan?What other options are there?How long will the treatments last?What side effects can I expect?What will I need to change in my daily routine?How will I feel during treatment?What will I need to do to take care of myself during the treatment period?What resources are available to me and my family if all treatment methods fail?
How can I find help to quit smoking?Are there other lifestyle changes I can make to help my prognosis?
How likely is it that my treatments will kill all the cancer cells?How do I know that my treatment program is effective?Should I consider participating in a clinical trial?Do you know of any support groups or others I can talk with about kidney cancer?
Kidney cancer (adult)—renal cell carcinoma. American Cancer Society website. Available at:
Accessed December 22, 2015.
Tips for talking to your doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/healthcare-management/working-with-your-doctor/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor.html. Updated May 2014. Accessed December 22, 2015.
Last reviewed May 2016 by Mohei Abouzied, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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