… Continued …
- The possibility to entirely remove the cancer recurrence.
- The cancer grade, how aggressive it is!
- The overall health of patient may also have an effect on the prognosis.
For example, local and regional kidney cancer recurrences are relatively easier to treat. For such cases, there is greater chance to successfully remove the cancer which then may lead to a cure.
When a cure is not possible, the goal of the treatment is usually to help shrink the cancer and slow its progression so this will help relieve the symptoms and improve the patient’s life expectancy.
The treatment options are usually based on many same factors /conditions you and your doctor considered when determining on the treatment the first time, such as: the cancer grade and how advanced it is.
You may also need to consider what you expect and what side effects from the treatment you’re willing to endure. Furthermore, the kinds of treatment you had previously will also be taken into account.
The treatments may include systemic therapy (such as immunotherapy and radiation therapy) and local therapy (such as surgery).
Systemic therapy can target the cancer cells widely (systemic), but there is also a greater chance for the treatment to affect other parts of the body that are not affected by the cancer. The good news, the new systemic therapies are available and they work more effectively with minimize damage (least effect) to the normal cells.
Local therapy is usually aimed to target or remove cancer in particular (small) area of the body. For example, surgery can be used to remove a local cancer recurrence. But it is usually not effective enough when the cancer cells have widely spread to other parts of the body.
Here are other things to remember to cope with kidney cancer recurrence:
- Understanding more about the cancer and its treatment can help reduce anxiety! Think about the first diagnosis and treatment of your first cancer, and then compare to what you know now – for examples, what treatment options you have and side effect you’re willing to endure!
- Although this can be frustrating, but remember that now you know more. Based on your first experience, you should be able to cope with it better! For example, you usually will be more familiar when you need someone nearby or when you need some time alone – with your experience, you should be able to plane ahead better.
- Build a good relationship with others, especially with your cancer team and family. This can help a lot to reduce anxiety and feel more comfortable.
In addition, your doctor might also suggest you to consider choosing and joining a clinical trial. This allows you to get access to experimental treatments (the latest medications). For more detailed information about this clinical trial, talk to your doctor!