University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center Offers Chemotherapy Treatment for Kidney Cancer

UH Seidman Cancer Center and the Urologic Oncology Center provide patients with a myriad of treatment options, including chemotherapy for kidney cancer. Unlike surgery or radiation therapy, which removes, damages or destroys cancer cells in a specific area, chemotherapy works throughout the body via the patient's bloodstream to control or slow the progression of kidney cancer.

What is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy destroys cancer cells that have metastasized, or spread, from the kidneys to other parts of the body, including the bones, lymph nodes or organs like the liver or lungs. Kidney cancer patients treated with chemotherapy usually do not receive additional surgery or radiation.

Managing Chemotherapy Treatments

Chemotherapy is typically administered to patients with an advanced stage or recurrence of the disease. The drugs circulate throughout the body in the bloodstream and can kill rapidly growing cancerous and noncancerous cells. Chemotherapy drugs are carefully controlled in dosage and frequency so that cancer cells are destroyed while the risk to healthy cells is minimized.

The chemotherapy drugs are administered directly through an intravenous catheter while others may be taken by mouth. Patients receive treatments every two to four weeks. During the therapy schedule, patients can meet with a physician for a physical exam and to review necessary laboratory results. Chemotherapy is offered as an outpatient treatment at all UH Seidman Cancer Center locations. A physician is on call 24/7 to address any concerns regarding the process.

Potential Side Effects

While many individuals are familiar with the possible side effects related to chemotherapy, UH Seidman Cancer Center oncologists are pleased to report that today's treatment is less toxic than previous chemotherapy medications. Current treatment directly targets cancerous cells, rather than healthy cells, which results in less discomfort and fewer side effects.

However, some reactions may occur, depending on the type of drugs used, the dosage and the length of treatment.

Common side effects may include:

  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Hair loss
  • Tingling or numbness in the fingers and toes
  • Anemia
  • A decrease in blood cell counts that result in an increased risk of infection

Side effects caused by chemotherapy typically diminish shortly after treatment. Patients can rest assured that our expert medical team will answer any questions regarding this treatment process.

Comprehensive Chemotherapy Education

UH Seidman Cancer Center health care experts offer chemotherapy classes to provide education and information about the treatment process. Patients should sign up for the classes in order to participate. Sessions are available on different days at a variety of times at UH Seidman Cancer Center main campus located in Cleveland or any of our Northeast Ohio locations.

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