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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Kidney Cancer, Version 1.2017


Making treatment decisions

Deciding between options

Deciding between options

Deciding which option is best can be hard. Doctors

from different fields of medicine may have different

opinions on which option is best for you. This can be

very confusing. Your spouse or partner may disagree

with which option you want. This can be stressful. In

some cases, one option hasn’t been shown to work

better than another, so science isn’t helpful. Some

ways to decide on treatment are discussed next.

Getting a 2



Even if you like and trust your doctor, it is helpful

to get a 2


opinion. You will want to have another

doctor review your test results. He or she can

suggest a treatment plan or check the one you

already heard about.

Things you can do to prepare:



Check with your insurance company about its

rules on 2


opinions. You want to know about

out-of-pocket costs for doctors who are not part

of your insurance plan.



Make plans to have copies of all your records

sent to the doctor you will see for your 2


opinion. Do this well before your appointment.

If you run into trouble having records sent, pick

them up and bring them with you.

If the new doctor offers other advice, make an

appointment with your first doctor to talk about the

differences. Do whatever you need to feel confident

about your diagnosis and treatment plan.

Getting support

Support groups often include people at different

stages of treatment. Some may be in the process of

deciding while others may be finished with treatment.

At support groups, you can ask questions and hear

about the experiences of other people with kidney

cancer. If your hospital or community doesn’t have

support groups for people with kidney cancer, check

out the websites on the next page.

You can also reach out to a social worker or

psychologist. They can help you find ways to cope

or refer you to support services. These services may

also be available to your family, friends, and to those

with children, so they can connect and get support.

It is necessary to be an active

participant in all aspects of your care.

You are your best advocate.

- Paula