Kidney Cancer is medically known as Renal Cell Carcinoma. Renal is from the Latin word renalis for kidneys. Kidney cancer includes various forms, including clear cell, papillary, sarcomatoid, transitional cell, and others.
Some patients are diagnosed before the cancer has metastasized (spread) to other parts of the body, while others have metastatic disease when their cancer is initially diagnosed. Surgery may be the first course of treatment, or systemic treatment — that is, a treatment that is injected into the bloodstream or swallowed — may be recommended prior to surgery (though this tends to be rare). If surgery is done first, additional treatment may be recommended to delay the cancer’s return, or to treat metastatic disease.
The choice of treatment, where treatment is administered, the frequency of check-ups, and many other aspects of the management of your disease are determined with input from you. The more you know, the better your decisions, and the more you can feel in control of your illness. Knowledge about your disease will help you better communicate with your doctor and nurse, and increase your confidence in the treatment that you receive. Getting smarter about kidney cancer is an important step in effectively fighting your disease. For more details, please consult your doctor.