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    GregP_WN wrote on Gram321's wall

    Hello and welcome, we are happy to have you with us. Please feel free to join in the conversations. Here is a link to our cancer dx page for your type of cancer. Take a look at it to get you started on some information. You will notice at the bottom of that page 4 of our active users who have had that journey already, you may wish to contact them for their experience and wisdom. Also, I encourage you to go to the questions page now by clicking on the questions tab at the top of the page and post what is the most pressing issue you have right now. This will introduce you to the community and get you started with the help you need right now.

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    Gram321 asked a questionKidney Cancer

    All of my blood work is good but they still want me to take Chemo. I do not think this is my best option.

    4 answers
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      Since you only have one kidney, it's the only kidney that you can depend on - it's a critical part of your survival.

      I'm sure that your medical team had considered your options and are doing their best to treat your disease while carefully watching your kidney function.

      The other advice that I can offer is get a second opinion from a major cancer treatment center and see how they have treated renal cell carcinoma when the patient only has one kidney.

      I agree with po18guy - cancer is complex - there is not an all natural chemo - the word chemo means chemotherapy - a drug that damages the DNA of cancer cells - chemo and radiation or surgery are the only ways to kill cancer. Best wishes for wisdom in treating your cancer.

      about 1 month ago
    • PeggyRCC's Avatar
      PeggyRCC

      It is difficult to help you assess the issues as to the side effects of the suggested treatment and how you and your doctor can manage it, as 'chemo' is a broad term. Most often kidney cancer patients do NOT use what is thought of as traditional chemo that we associate with baldness and the severe nausea etc. Those chemos will affect all your growing cells, but since cancer cells grow faster than normal cells, their action can kill the cancer cells, while your normal cell are also affected, you have millions more normal cells, the cancer is hit hardest.

      Your doctor may want to prescribe a 'targeted therapy', such as Sutent or Votrient, among others. They have somewhat similar actions, as they go after the blood vessels that are created by the tumors to grow, and those vessels are usually very susceptible to these targeted therapies. The side effects can vary, but are usually managed well, if you and your doctor work together.

      The second type of medication may be an 'immune' therapy, such as Opdivo (nivolumab). Its action is to cause the cancer to lose its ability to stop the normal immune reaction, which is to fight the cancer. The general side effects will resemble immune reactions, as makes sense, but everyone must be alert to an over-reaction which can happen in a very small percentage of patients.

      As to the CT scan and the need for contrast, you are right in that you must protect your single kidney. Everyone who gets these scans is careful to follow the instructions, which include being well-hydrated with regular water before the scan, and immediately after, start drinking more water to wash out the contrast. I have taken at least 25 CT scans since I was diagnosed with clear cell kidney cancer and 100s of tiny lung mets. My lung mets responded to an immune therapy which had to be given to me in the hospital, but my lungs are clear and I have had NO CANCER since then, now 14 years. I take the CTs so as to know if it has ever come back, and to catch it early.

      As to the good blood work, there is no blood test to find the return or growth of kidney cancer, but that does seem to indicate that you have no other serious problems, and thereby could manage the medications which your doctor thinks is appropriate. Take the time to get the details about the recommended medication and let this group help you understand more about it.

      about 1 month ago
    • Teachertina's Avatar
      Teachertina

      I too have lost a kidney, half a lung and just had cryo ablation on my other kidney last week. My blood always looked good. I’ve been fighting this renal cell for 13 years, so far no chemo or radiation, just surgery. Make sure you have a list of questions for your doctors about all options available to you. I’m 64 now and hope to keep this kidney going for a long time. I hope you will get the best doctors and find the best treatments for your situation. It will be your decision to choose the course of treatment you are most comfortable with. Do some research to be as informed as you can. Keep updating here and get support and encouragement to keep on fighting. I’ll be thinking of you.

      about 1 month ago
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    Gram321 shared an experience

    Procedure or Surgery (Surgery): Had my left kidney removed

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