Kidney (Renal Cell) Cancer
Kidney (Renal Cell) Cancer
Managing side effects
You can do things at home to help manage your side effects. If your doctor has given you instructions or medicines to treat these symptoms, be sure to use them. In general, healthy habits such as eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep and exercise may help control your symptoms.
Here are some tips on handling side effects:
- Get some physical
activity every day, but don't get too tired. Keep doing the hobbies you enjoy
as your energy allows.
- Get enough sleep. Home treatment for sleep problems includes removing distractions from your bedroom and avoiding caffeine.
- Don't smoke. Smoking can make kidney cancer worse. If you need help quitting,
talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can
increase your chances of quitting for good. For more information, see the topic Quitting Smoking.
- Home treatment for pain includes taking over-the-counter pain medicines and applying heat or cold to the area that hurts.
- Home treatment for nausea or vomiting includes watching for and treating early signs of dehydration, such as having a dry mouth or feeling lightheaded when you stand up. Eating smaller meals may help. So can a little bit of ginger candy or ginger tea.
- Home treatment for diarrhea includes resting your stomach and being alert for signs of dehydration. Check with your doctor before using any nonprescription medicines for your diarrhea. Be sure to drink enough fluids.
- Home treatment for fatigue includes getting extra rest and managing your energy.
Having cancer and being treated for it can be very stressful. There are steps you can take to reduce your stress. Some people find that it helps to talk about their feelings with family and friends. Others find that spending time alone is what they need.
If your emotional reaction to cancer gets in the way of your ability to make decisions about your health, it's important to talk with your doctor. Your cancer treatment center may offer psychological or financial services. And a local chapter of the American Cancer Society can help you find a support group.
Having cancer can change your life in many ways. For support in managing these changes, see the topic
Getting Support When You Have Cancer.
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Christopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology
October 22, 2012
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