Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can a kidney transplant get rid of kidney cancer?"
I was diagnosed with kidney cancer at 37. Will a kidney transplant help my situation?
Kidney cancer is a difficult situation. This medical condition, most commonly Renal Cell Carcinoma, requires significant treatment and medical attention. I would recommend that you discuss your specific situation with your primary care doctor. If required, he or she may refer you to an oncologist (a cancer specialist) or a urologist (a kidney surgeon). Renal cell carcinoma is almost exclusively (in early stages) treated with surgery. Often the diagnosis is made based on appearance from an imaging modality (CAT scan or MRI). Then, the initial treatment is to remove the entire kidney. Most people have two kidneys and really only need one for normal function. As such, removing the entire kidney is not a problem, as the other kidney is there. In these cases, no transplant is needed. A renal transplant is used for other conditions more commonly. As mentioned above, a kidney transplant is not used for cancer. Transplants are helpful when both kidneys are severely injured and cannot perform their normal function. In fact, cancers are often a contraindication for the transplant. Talk to your doctor. Hopefully, a simple surgery to remove the cancer can be done and you will require no further kidney treatment. It really does depend on your specific kidney condition and cancer. Good luck!
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