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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Kidney Cancer, Version 1.2017



A pair of organs that filter blood and remove waste from the

body through urine.

laparoscopic surgery

Surgery that uses small tools and a laparoscope—a thin

tube with a light and camera at the end—inserted through a

few small cuts in the belly area.


An organ that removes waste from blood and makes a liquid

that helps to digest food.

liver function

A description of how well the liver is working.

liver function test

A blood test that measures chemicals that are made or

processed by the liver to check how well the liver is working.

local anesthesia

A controlled loss of feeling in a small area of the body from


local recurrence

Cancer that has come back after treatment in or near the

same place as the first (primary) tumor.


One of a pair of organs in the chest that is made of airways

and air sacs and supplies the body with oxygen.


A clear fluid containing white blood cells that fight infection

and disease.

lymph nodes

Small groups of special disease-fighting cells located

throughout the body.

lymph vessels

Tubes that carry lymph—a clear fluid containing white blood

cells that fight disease and infection—throughout the body

and connect lymph nodes to one another.

magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan

A test that uses radio waves and powerful magnets to make

pictures of the inside of the body.

medical history

All health events and medications taken to date.

medical oncologist

A doctor who’s an expert in treating cancer with drugs.


Surgery to remove tumors that formed far from the first site

of cancer.


Tumors formed by cancer cells that have spread from the

first tumor to other parts of the body.


The spread of cancer cells from the first tumor to another

body part.


Containing cancer cells that have spread from the first



A tool that uses lenses to see very small things the eyes


monoclonal antibody

A type of immune system protein made in a lab that can

attach to substances in the body such as cancer cells.


A protein in cells that sends chemical signals for cell growth

and survival.

mTOR inhibitor

A drug that blocks the action of mTOR—a protein in cells

that sends chemical signals for cell growth and survival.


Surgery that removes a kidney.

nephrogenic systemic sclerosis

A health condition that causes abnormal thickening and

hardening of the skin and may affect other soft tissues.

non-clear cell RCC

Subtypes of RCC (renal cell carcinoma) other than clear

cell, based on how the cancer cells look when viewed with a


open surgery

Removal of tissue through one large cut.

palliative care

Treatment for symptoms of a disease. Also sometimes

called supportive care.

palliative surgery

Surgery that is used to relieve symptoms caused by the