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"Will cancer spread if operated on?"

ZocdocAnswersWill cancer spread if operated on?


My boyfriend has a large mass on his kidney. Docs r not sure if it's cancer or not, if it is and they remove his kidney, could the cancer spread?


Thanks for your question, and sorry to hear about this concerning finding. I encourage you to discuss your concerns with your doctor. Cancer is often described as cells that take on a life of their own and can grow without proper regulation, taking nutrition, blood, and space needed by other cells that are vital to life. As these cancer cells spread, they can become life threatening because of the damage they inflict on body parts where they should not be. Most people include in the definition of cancer at least some discussion of the fact that it has the potential to spread to other parts of the body. This could happen in a number of different ways. The most common way is for the tumor to spread through the blood, lymph nodes, or other methods spontaneously. There is a small risk that surgery can also dislodge some cancer cells that could then affect the skin or nearby tissues. While this risk is small, it is a real risk. Unfortunately, the risk of not removing the large mass could be greater, as any cancer left alone will usually spread one way or another. Given your concerns, it is important to discuss them with your doctor for more information. Please speak with your doctor about this.

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