Kidney cancer starts when cells of the kidney get altered and begin to multiply out of control. One of the most horrible things is when the cancer cells have spread to other areas of the body. For example, it’s possible to find the cancer in both kidneys. For such case, the prognosis of the disease will get worse.
Understanding about the disease and what to expect can help you make decisions. Some crucial decisions you have to concern as well include:
- Do you want to take the treatment? While the treatment is often necessary for cancer, the conventional cancer treatments can be a lot to cope with since they carry side effects!
- Your doctor and specialist can make the most appropriate treatments. But it’s important to always ask, which treatment is best?!
- How to best manage the side effects of cancer treatment and take care of yourself?!
- Another thing to be concerned, how to deal with financial matters?!
If you’re diagnosed with kidney cancer, you may wonder about how serious it is and your chances of survival. But, you will face a lot of unknowns.
In fact, it’s not always easy for people with cancer to understand what the prognosis means. The good news – along with early diagnosis, new treatments are now helpful a lot for them to live longer than ever before.
The prediction of how your cancer will improve and go is called prognosis. In other words, cancer prognosis is the chance /outlook of recovery from the cancer.
It’s difficult or even almost impossible to exactly predict what will happen for each case. But in general, some factors and conditions can be used to help estimate the cancer prognosis.
There are many factors that can have an effect on your prognosis. The main ones include:
- The kind of cancer that you have and where it grows. Kidney cancer has several types, some may become aggressive and more difficult to treat (learn more in here).
- The cancer grade. It points to how abnormal the cancer cells appear if compared to normal cells. This can be closely observed under a microscope. The more abnormal they look – the greater chance they grow, spread, and become aggressive.
- The stage of the cancer, which points to how large the cancer has grown (its size) and how far it has spread.
- Other factors such as your overall health, age, and how well you respond to the treatment.
For most people with cancer, knowing more about their prognosis may help them to cope with. They may ask their doctors or even search the information on their own. But for some, it can be frightening and confusing. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to know this information.
The prognosis in cancer is derived from statistics that researchers have gathered over many years. There are several types of statistics, these include:
- Cancer-specific survival, which may also be the most commonly used statistic. This refers to the percentage of patients with specific type and stage of cancer who keep survive during a certain period of time (typically in years) after the diagnosis. The period of time can include 1, 2, or 5 years.
- Overall survival, which is percentage of cancer patients who keep survive (have not died from any cause) within certain period of time after their diagnosis.
- Relative survival. It points to the percentage of people with cancer who have survived within a certain period of time after the diagnosis compared to people without cancer. The cause of the death in the relative survival statistic is usually not used (ignored).
- Disease-free (recurrence /progression-free) survival, which is the percentage of cancer patients who don’t have signs and symptoms of cancer for a certain period of time after following the treatment.
Again, there are a number of variables and factors that can affect the cancer prognosis. The stage of your cancer is one of the main ones.
If the cancer has become advanced, it can be harder to treat. For example, the goal of treatment for stage IV is usually aimed to prevent the cancer from getting worse and control its progression. For such case, it’s usually impossible to completely remove the cancer – in other words, the cure is more difficult to achieve.
Unfortunately, if the cancer has been found in both kidneys – this means that the cancer has spread, or categorized into the stage IV (the most advanced stage of the cancer).
You have two kidneys that are responsible to provide healthy-balanced blood. To keep survive – you need at least one functioning kidney! This is one of the most challenging things if the cancer has affected both kidneys, because the doctor may need to remove the two kidneys with surgery. But your doctor should only suggest treatment that does outweigh the risk!
See also the following related posts:
- Kidney cancer when you only have one kidney!
- Life expectancy after kidney removal!
- Where does kidney cancer usually spread to?
- Can this cancer heal spontaneously?
- Are there any effective natural treatments to help cope with it?
Remember, each case is different or unique! The statistics to estimate the cancer prognosis are based on large groups of patients. So they cannot exactly tell you what will happen! If you do concern about your prognosis, talk with someone (such as your doctor) who knows and understands the most about your condition!