Patient Resource Center

A diagnosis of kidney cancer can be quite overwhelming at first.  There is an infinite amount of information available to patients and caregivers who are reeling from the diagnosis.

We’ve put together a list of common questions we often get from patients, as well as links to relevant information for those just starting to form a plan for a newly-diagnosed renal mass.

Our goal is to inform without adding to the overwhelm you’re already experiencing. We have reliable resources of information to help you as you begin to learn about kidney cancer.

A Kidney Cancer Diagnosis

What is a renal mass?

“We see a mass on your kidney.”  Perhaps you heard this statement after a CT or ultrasound that was performed for another reason, and you are wondering what is going to happen next. Kidney cancer is also referred to as a “renal mass” which is an abnormal growth in the kidney.

Why didn’t my doctor find my kidney cancer sooner?

There is no screening test for kidney cancer so it is usually discovered by chance or after symptoms develop. Genetic health conditions can increase a risk for kidney cancer. Additional testing is usually required to make a good plan for your care.

There are so many medical words that I don’t understand!

You’ll soon become very familiar with the terminology and acronyms used in your care. In the meantime, here’s a tool to help.  Enter the word you’d like explained in this dictionary of cancer terms provided by the National Cancer Institute:

VISIT >

Useful Videos

This excellent video “When the Doctor Says Cancer” from CANCER.NET gives you an excellent overview of how to navigate this difficult time.
This video from the Urology Care Foundation “What is a Renal Mass?” is a good place to start understanding about kidney cancer.

Click the image to download this comprehensive resource book from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network for clear and comprehensive information about many aspects of kidney cancer, from basic concept to treatment guides.

Listen as Dr. Hans Hammers of UT Southwestern talks about diagnosis, early doctor visits, second opinions, shared decision making, and the early planning process.

Building your care team

Choosing a doctor can feel overwhelming, but this is especially true for patients with kidney cancer, which is considered one of the more “rare” cancers.

How is kidney cancer treated?

Your treatment will be customized to your own disease and you may not have a plan until test results are available.  You may be given more than one option for treatment.

In this case, resources created by the International Kidney Cancer Coalition called “My Treatment, My Choices”  might be very helpful. These informational PDFs include workbooks to help you understand your options, ask the right questions at your appointments, and make a care plan.

Surgery, targeted therapy,  immunotherapy, or a combination may be used, depending on how advanced your cancer is.

Traditional “chemotherapy” isn’t used for most types of kidney cancer.

Should I join a clinical trial?

The word “trial” can be a little intimidating. Most of us would prefer known treatments, certain outcomes. Unfortunately, for many cancer patients, trials are their best hope. Trials are also how we make progress toward cures. Talk to your doctor about whether a clinical trial could be right for you. 

Connect with Our Communities

There are multiple support groups serving the kidney cancer community.  SmartPatients.com is a patient forum and a KidneyCAN partner. We recommend this as a private, moderated  place to talk with other patients.  Your cancer center may also have their own support groups.

Reliable  Resources for Cancer Information
NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE
www.cancer.gov
CANCER.NET
www.cancer.net/cancer-types/kidney-cancer
INTERNATIONAL KIDNEY CANCER COALITION
www.ikcc.org
CANCER AND CAREERS
Strategies for Coping with Cancer in the Workplace
www.cancerandcareers.org/en/at-work

Join Our Grassroots Army

We know that awareness of kidney cancer and its impact on many lives leads to a sense of urgency, a desire for solutions. Awareness leads to advocacy, and advocacy — joining to speak as one voice — leads to funding and research. That’s how we get to cures.

"What #KidneyCancer Can't Take from Us"

Be sure to check out the inspiring story of David and Josie, featured in our Community Spotlight this month. David was diagnosed with advanced kidney cancer at age 37, months after his wedding to Josie. Though cancer upended some of the newlyweds' plans, they're focused on the positive and enjoying their lives together.

https://kidneycan.org/david-and-josie/

#cancer #survivorstories #communityspotlight #kidneycan #acceleratingcures #patientvoice #livingwithcancer #inspiration #optimism @cityofhope

"What #KidneyCancer Can't Take from Us"

Be sure to check out the inspiring story of David and Josie, featured in our Community Spotlight this month. David was diagnosed with advanced kidney cancer at age 37, months after his wedding to Josie. Though cancer upended some of the newlyweds' plans, they're focused on the positive and enjoying their lives together.

https://kidneycan.org/david-and-josie/

#cancer #survivorstories #communityspotlight #kidneycan #acceleratingcures #patientvoice #livingwithcancer #inspiration #optimism @cityofhope
...

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🥰🥰 How it feels when your community SHOWS UP on #GivingTuesday! 🥰🥰

We have raised over $9,000 today and are still going strong! That means we have $18,000 with our match! 

Every dollar you give to KidneyCAN goes to WORK for you -- for advocacy, for propelling research, for patient support and education. THANK YOU for being part of our grassroots army. 

Give now at https://kidneycan.org/donate-now/

🥰🥰 How it feels when your community SHOWS UP on #GivingTuesday! 🥰🥰

We have raised over $9,000 today and are still going strong! That means we have $18,000 with our match!

Every dollar you give to KidneyCAN goes to WORK for you -- for advocacy, for propelling research, for patient support and education. THANK YOU for being part of our grassroots army.

Give now at https://kidneycan.org/donate-now/
...

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In 2016, Congress appropriated ZERO dollars for #kidneycancer research. In 2022, that number is $50 million, in large part due to advocacy. When you give to KidneyCAN, you send your voice to Washington. 

https://kidneycan.org/donate-now/

In 2016, Congress appropriated ZERO dollars for #kidneycancer research. In 2022, that number is $50 million, in large part due to advocacy. When you give to KidneyCAN, you send your voice to Washington.

https://kidneycan.org/donate-now/
...

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Little by little. Step by step. This is how we do the work.

Please help us reach our $15,000 #GivingTuesday goal. We have BIG 2022 plans to #acceleratecures for #kidneycancer and we need YOU to make things happen!

Donate at KidneyCAN.org

Little by little. Step by step. This is how we do the work.

Please help us reach our $15,000 #GivingTuesday goal. We have BIG 2022 plans to #acceleratecures for #kidneycancer and we need YOU to make things happen!

Donate at KidneyCAN.org
...

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KidneyCAN works to #acceleratecures for #kidneycancer. On #GivingTuesday, we're asking for your support. Want to know where your money goes? 

See our 2021 accomplishments here: https://bit.ly/KidneyCAN2021

We have a generous match for up to $15,000 in donations this holiday season. Give now at https://kidneycan.org/donate-now/

KidneyCAN works to #acceleratecures for #kidneycancer. On #GivingTuesday, we're asking for your support. Want to know where your money goes?

See our 2021 accomplishments here: https://bit.ly/KidneyCAN2021

We have a generous match for up to $15,000 in donations this holiday season. Give now at https://kidneycan.org/donate-now/
...

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Between now and New Year's Day, we will lose around 1,280 people to #kidneycancer. KidneyCAN works to #acceleratecures, and our work is urgent. Please consider giving to KidneyCAN on #GivingTuesday. 

https://kidneycan.org/donate-now/

Between now and New Year's Day, we will lose around 1,280 people to #kidneycancer. KidneyCAN works to #acceleratecures, and our work is urgent. Please consider giving to KidneyCAN on #GivingTuesday.

https://kidneycan.org/donate-now/
...

3 0
The holidays can be a hectic and overwhelming time, even if you're not dealing with #kidneycancer. 

Tune in as our experts offer strategies for making the most of the holiday season -- managing symptoms, supporting your mental health, and more. 

"Handling the Holidays with Cancer"
• FREE Patient & Caregiver Event
• Tuesday, Nov. 30th at 5:30 pm EST
• Online via Zoom
• Interactive -- ask your questions! 

You're not alone this holiday season! Register now at www.kidneycan.org.

The holidays can be a hectic and overwhelming time, even if you're not dealing with #kidneycancer.

Tune in as our experts offer strategies for making the most of the holiday season -- managing symptoms, supporting your mental health, and more.

"Handling the Holidays with Cancer"
• FREE Patient & Caregiver Event
• Tuesday, Nov. 30th at 5:30 pm EST
• Online via Zoom
• Interactive -- ask your questions!

You're not alone this holiday season! Register now at www.kidneycan.org.
...

3 0
Thanksgiving Day is behind us ... how are you doing? 

If you're overwhelmed and a little exhausted by the thought of the full holiday season ahead, we can help. 

You're not alone this holiday season.

Join us for a conversation with experienced patients, caregivers, and medical professionals as they share their best tips and strategies for surviving (and thriving!) during the holidays when you or a loved one has cancer. 

💚 Handling the Holidays with Cancer
💻 Free, Interactive Zoom Webinar
📆 Tuesday, November 30th 
⏰ 5:30-6:30 pm EST (with "eggnog happy hour" to follow!)
📩 Register at https://bit.ly/HolidayTownHall

What questions do you have for our experts? Drop them in the comments, or let us know when you register. We're here for you!

Thanksgiving Day is behind us ... how are you doing?

If you're overwhelmed and a little exhausted by the thought of the full holiday season ahead, we can help.

You're not alone this holiday season.

Join us for a conversation with experienced patients, caregivers, and medical professionals as they share their best tips and strategies for surviving (and thriving!) during the holidays when you or a loved one has cancer.

💚 Handling the Holidays with Cancer
💻 Free, Interactive Zoom Webinar
📆 Tuesday, November 30th
⏰ 5:30-6:30 pm EST (with "eggnog happy hour" to follow!)
📩 Register at https://bit.ly/HolidayTownHall

What questions do you have for our experts? Drop them in the comments, or let us know when you register. We're here for you!
...

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Join this free symposium to understand how your quality of life and symptom management during #kidneycancer treatment can be improved by support from palliative care specialists. 

This event is provided by our friends at the Judy Nicholson Kidney Cancer Foundation. Register here: https://jnfkidneycancer.org/supporting-patients-family-the-role-of-palliative-care/

Join this free symposium to understand how your quality of life and symptom management during #kidneycancer treatment can be improved by support from palliative care specialists.

This event is provided by our friends at the Judy Nicholson Kidney Cancer Foundation. Register here: https://jnfkidneycancer.org/supporting-patients-family-the-role-of-palliative-care/
...

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KidneyCAN is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit and does not receive any funding through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) or KCRP (Kidney Cancer Research Program). Our work is funded by grassroots donors in the kidney cancer community. 

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Latest News

David and Josie: What Cancer Can’t Take Away from Us

David and Josie: What Cancer Can’t Take Away from Us

David Roy, age 37, lives in Long Beach, California, with his wife, Josie Garcia-Roy. David was was diagnosed in March 2021 with non-clear cell renal cell carcinoma.When Cancer Changes the PlanFor this month's Community Spotlight, KidneyCAN spoke to David Roy and Josie Garcia-Roy, both California...

SPRING ADVOCACY DAYS 2022 →

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Fall Micro-Strike: KidneyCAN Asks Congress to Fund Kidney Cancer Research

Fall Micro-Strike: KidneyCAN Asks Congress to Fund Kidney Cancer Research

Fall Micro-Strike: KidneyCAN Asks Congress to Fund Kidney Cancer ResearchOn Monday, December 1, 2021, KidneyCAN gathered a team of delegates and once again asked Congress to fund kidney cancer research. We are asking for robust funding of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, and...

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Latest News

David and Josie: What Cancer Can’t Take Away from Us

David and Josie: What Cancer Can’t Take Away from Us

David Roy, age 37, lives in Long Beach, California, with his wife, Josie Garcia-Roy. David was was diagnosed in March 2021 with non-clear cell renal cell carcinoma.When Cancer Changes the PlanFor this month's Community Spotlight, KidneyCAN spoke to David Roy and Josie Garcia-Roy, both California...

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Latest News

Fall Micro-Strike: KidneyCAN Asks Congress to Fund Kidney Cancer Research

Fall Micro-Strike: KidneyCAN Asks Congress to Fund Kidney Cancer Research

Fall Micro-Strike: KidneyCAN Asks Congress to Fund Kidney Cancer ResearchOn Monday, December 1, 2021, KidneyCAN gathered a team of delegates and once again asked Congress to fund kidney cancer research. We are asking for robust funding of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, and...

SUPPORT OUR WORK →

FUNDRAISE FOR KIDNEYCAN →

DONATE →

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Latest News

David and Josie: What Cancer Can’t Take Away from Us

David and Josie: What Cancer Can’t Take Away from Us

David Roy, age 37, lives in Long Beach, California, with his wife, Josie Garcia-Roy. David was was diagnosed in March 2021 with non-clear cell renal cell carcinoma.When Cancer Changes the PlanFor this month's Community Spotlight, KidneyCAN spoke to David Roy and Josie Garcia-Roy, both California...