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Talking to Your Healthcare Provider About Kidney Cancer

You have your own health history. Talk with your doctor about your risk factors and background with kidney cancer. By talking openly and often with your care team, you can make the best choices for you and your family.

General Tips for Gathering Information

Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your care team:
  • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
  • Write your questions ahead of time so you do not forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get and make sure you grasp what you are hearing. Ask for help, if needed.
  • Do not be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information. You have a right to know.

Specific Questions to Ask Your Care Team

About Kidney Cancer
  • What is the stage of my kidney cancer?
  • What type of kidney cancer is it?
  • Was it caught early or has it spread?
About Treatment Options
  • How long will the treatments last?
  • What side effects can I expect?
  • How will I feel during treatment?
  • What will I need to do to take care of myself?
  • What can my family and I do if treatments fail?
About Lifestyle Changes
  • What changes will I need to make in my daily routine?
  • How can I find help to quit smoking?
  • Are there other habits I can change that will help my outlook?
About Outlook
  • Is there a chance I will be cured?
  • How do I know if my treatments are working?
  • Should I consider participating in a clinical trial?
  • Do you know of any support groups or others I can talk with about kidney cancer?

References

Getting the most out of your doctor appointment. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor. Accessed February 28, 2020.
Questions to ask my doctor about my cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/cancer-control/en/worksheets/questions-to-ask-about-my-cancer.pdf. Accessed February 28, 2020.
General information about renal cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/kidney/patient/kidney-treatment-pdq. Updated November 8, 2019. Accessed February 28, 2020.
Kidney cancer. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/what-kidney-cancer. Accessed February 28, 2020.
Renal cell carcinoma. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114704/Renal-cell-carcinoma. Updated October 10, 2018. Accessed February 28, 2020.

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