Follow-up after treatment is an important part of cancer care. Follow-up for kidney cancer is often shared among the cancer specialists (called oncologists), your urologist and your family doctor. Your healthcare team will work with you to decide on follow-up care to meet your needs.
Don’t wait until your next scheduled appointment to report any new symptoms and symptoms that don’t go away. Tell your healthcare team if you have:
The chance of kidney cancer recurring is greatest within 3 years, so close follow-up is needed during this time. Kidney cancer can recur a long time after treatment is finished, so it’s important to continue to see your healthcare team regularly.
Follow-up visits for kidney cancer are usually scheduled:
During a follow-up visit, your healthcare team will usually ask questions about the side effects of treatment and how you’re coping. They may also ask about your diet and lifestyle.
Your doctor may do a physical exam and feel your abdomen, side and lower back. Your doctor will also check your surgical scar to see how well it is healing or if there are any changes to it.
Tests are often part of follow-up care. You may have:
Some people treated for kidney cancer may need to have follow-up tests more often than other people. This includes people who have a moderate or high risk of recurrence because they have large tumours, cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes or both.
If a recurrence is found, your healthcare team will assess you to determine the best treatment options.
To make the decisions that are right for you, ask your healthcare team questions about follow-up.
Seeing my sister Erin – a young mother – struggle with the emotional blow and then the physical toll of cancer treatment made me want to do something to help women feel confident.
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