NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Kidney Cancer, Version 1.2017
Stage I kidney cancer
Imaging tests of your abdomen are recommended
more often and for a longer period of time after
thermal ablation than surgery. This is because there
is a slightly higher chance of local recurrence after
thermal ablation than surgery.
The initial imaging tests should be done with and
without contrast to make the pictures clearer. If the
imaging tests show signs of tumor growth, spread,
or return, then a biopsy is recommended. An x-ray or
CT scan of your chest will show if cancer has spread
to your lungs.
Imaging tests of your chest are important since
the lungs are the most common site of distant
recurrence. Imaging tests of your chest should
be done once a year for the first few years after
treatment. After that, they may be used as needed to
check out signs or symptoms of cancer in your lungs.
Imaging tests of your pelvis, head, spine, and bones
are not recommended as standard follow-up tests
for all patients. These tests may be done as needed
such as if there are signs or symptoms of cancer
spread. A CT or MRI scan of your head may be
done to show if cancer has spread to your brain.
Some symptoms of cancer in the brain are chronic
headaches, seizures, loss of balance, and weakness
on one side of the body. If you have bone pain or
high levels of ALP in your blood, then a bone scan
may be done to show if cancer has spread to your
bones. If follow-up tests show that cancer has come
back, see Guide 7 for recommended treatments for
relapsed kidney cancer.
If follow-up tests show that cancer has come back,
see Guide 8 on page 52 for recommended treatment
for relapsed kidney cancer.