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Renal Cancer


Renal cancer begins in the kidney or ureters. The ureters are the tubes that connect your kidneys to your bladder. Urine is made in the kidneys, collects in the bladder, and is emptied from your body through your urethra.


Call 911 for any of the following:

  • Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
  • You have pain or discomfort in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm.
  • You have discomfort in your chest that feels like squeezing, pressure, fullness, or pain.
  • You feel lightheaded or short of breath.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your pain does not go away after you take pain medicine.
  • You cannot urinate.
  • You have severe fatigue or confusion.

Contact your urologist or oncologist if:

  • You have a fever or night sweats, or you are very tired.
  • You have dizziness or a headache.
  • You have an upset stomach, poor appetite or weight loss, or you are vomiting.
  • You have swollen lymph nodes in your armpit, neck, or groin.
  • You have muscle pain or weakness.
  • You have abdominal or bone pain.
  • You see blood in your urine.
  • You have swelling in your scrotum (males).
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your urologist or oncologist as directed:

You will need to see your urologist or oncologist for treatment or tests. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Do not smoke:

Nicotine can damage blood vessels and make it more difficult to manage your renal cancer. Smoking also increases your risk for new or returning cancer and delays healing after treatment. Do not use e-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco in place of cigarettes or to help you quit. They still contain nicotine. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help quitting.

Do not drink alcohol:

Alcohol can damage your kidneys.

Drink liquids as directed:

Liquids will help prevent constipation and fluid loss caused by vomiting or diarrhea. Liquids can also help remove extra fluid buildup and relieve swelling. Ask your healthcare provider how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.

Eat healthy foods:

Healthy foods include fruit, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. Your healthcare provider may recommend that you eat less red meat. You need to eat enough calories to prevent weight loss and energy loss caused by cancer treatment. You also need protein to give you strength. If you do not feel hungry, eat small amounts often instead of large meals.

Exercise as directed:

Exercise can increase your energy level and appetite. Ask your healthcare provider how much exercise you need and which exercises are best for you.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.