What to Expect After a Kidney Cancer Diagnosis

Guidance and Support Through Treatment and Recovery

Knowing what to expect after a kidney cancer diagnosis can calm your fears and give you a sense of control over treatment.

Our kidney cancer team meets with thousands of patients just like you to answer questions and explain what happens next. You won’t be alone in the process. 

Our nurse navigators will walk with you from diagnosis through treatment and recovery. And we’ll connect you with cancer support services to provide a range of resources to support your physical and emotional well-being during cancer treatment and beyond.

Personalized Treatment

After you receive a kidney cancer diagnosis, we’ll work with you to decide the right course of action.

Our experts collaborate on every patient’s case during our weekly tumor board meeting to draw on the expertise of specialists from many fields to design the most effective treatment plan for you. Our tumor board includes:

  • What to Expect at Your First Appointment

    At your first appointment, we will explain your diagnosis, review your treatment plan, and answer your questions. We encourage you to bring a family member, friend, or another caregiver with you to this appointment because you will learn a lot of important information. At the appointment, you will:

    • Meet your nurse navigator, who will be your point of contact throughout treatment. This nurse will help schedule appointments and answer any questions you and your family may have.
    • Meet with your team of physicians. This may include a surgeon, radiation oncologist, medical oncologists and interventional radiologists.
    • Learn about the cancer’s stage and the treatment options your team recommends.
    • Learn what to expect before, during, and after treatment.
    • Schedule additional tests or appointments.
  • Support for You and Your Loved Ones

    We provide a wide range of support for you and your family, including:

    • Customized treatment in convenient locations across metro Detroit.
    • Access to research and clinical trials, which give you a broader range of options, including brand-new treatments.Help for every phase of treatment, including support groups and therapies to help you manage symptoms.
  • Post-Surgery Care and Follow-up

    Patients who have robot-assisted kidney cancer surgery will stay in the hospital for about 48 hours after surgery. You’ll have four to six small incisions covered by small bandages. You may be able to remove these bandages before you go home. 

    After surgery you can expect:

    • Clinic appointment: Once you go home, we’ll make an appointment to see you in our clinic two to three weeks after surgery. 
    • Return to daily activities: You should be able to return to light work duties by then. You’ll need to wait about four weeks after surgery to resume more strenuous work and exercise. 
    • Tumor pathology report: After your surgery, our pathologists will examine your tumor and remark on whether or not it is cancer and what type of cancer it is. The report takes several days to produce, as the specimen is processed and examined closely under the microscope. All relevant reports will be forwarded to your local physicians and to you.
    • Post-surgery tests: X-rays and some blood work are most often required after surgery. These can be done by a primary physician or a urologist, or you can return to Henry Ford Hospital. We will work closely with your physicians at home.
  • Radiation and Chemotherapy

    Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are largely ineffective for kidney cancer. Surgery is the mainstay of treatment. 

    Some patients with cancer that has spread outside of the kidney may benefit from additional therapies. If you need these therapies, we may recommend that you see a medical oncologist after you recover. In most cases, however, kidney cancers are localized to the kidney and frequently cured by removal of the tumor or the kidney.

Connect with our Cancer Team 24/7

Call us at (888) 777-4167