Kidney Cancer FAQ

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What prognosis does kidney cancer have?

The prognosis depends mainly on the kidney cancer subtype and the extent of the disease. In a localised disease, surgical treatment is usually successful. However, a follow-up must be done afterwards, as there is always a risk of relapse. If the disease spreads to other organs, the goal of treatment is to turn the cancer into a chronic disease and maintain quality of life. 

After surgery, can any treatment be applied to reduce the risk of reappearance of the disease?

No, there is currently no treatment after surgery shown to reduce the risk of relapse of the disease. However, the most recent studies seem to show that immunotherapy administration could be useful in this context. There are currently a number of different clinical trials in this field.

Does chemotherapy work in kidney cancer?

That understood as classical chemotherapy (the type which causes hair loss) is not useful in kidney cancer. For this reason, other treatments have been developed: mainly antiangiogenics and immunotherapy, which have shown a clear benefit in controlling these tumours.  

What is the treatment for disseminated kidney cancer?

This depends on numerous factors, including the kidney tumour subtype, the general condition of the patient, the disease symptoms and extension, other diseases the patient may have and the availability of different drugs or clinical trials. For this reason, a single recommendation cannot be made and the choice must be individualised based on patient characteristics.  

How will I know if the treatment is working?

During medical treatment, periodic imaging tests are carried out to monitor the evolution of the disease and to see if there is an improvement in the extent, stability and growth of these lesions. Depending on these results and tolerance to the treatment, the treatment is either continued or its regimen modified.  

What life will I be able to lead during the treatment?

Your lifestyle depends on the symptoms the cancer produces and the side effects of the treatment. There are patients who have to reduce their activity and require more cures and others who can maintain an active life and even return to work.  

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Substantiated information by:

Meritxell Casanovas
Mireia Musquera Felip
Oscar Reig Torras

Published: 1 February 2022
Updated: 1 February 2022

The donations that can be done through this webpage are exclusively for the benefit of Hospital Clínic of Barcelona through Fundació Clínic per a la Recerca Biomèdica and not for BBVA Foundation, entity that collaborates with the project of PortalClínic.


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