After treatment for kidney cancer

After treatment for kidney cancer, you may just want to get back to everyday life. But you may still be coping with the side effects of treatment, adjusting to physical changes or dealing with some difficult emotions. Recovery takes time, so do not rush it and try to be kind to yourself.

Some people choose to make lifestyle changes to improve their health and well-being. Even if you had a healthy lifestyle before cancer, you may be more focused on making the most of your health.

If you have health problems, such as kidney disease, it is important to check with your doctor before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet.

If you have had part or all of a kidney removed, it is a good idea to look after your remaining kidney or kidneys. Reducing your risk of high blood pressure, heart problems and diabetes will help protect your kidney.

Eat healthily

Eating a healthy, balanced diet will give you more energy and help you recover. Try to limit the amount of salt you eat. This is because salt can raise blood pressure and make the kidney work harder. Follow any advice you have been given by a dietitian.

Drink plenty of water

Drink at least 2 litres (3½ pints) of non-alcoholic fluids a day. This will help protect your kidney. Plain water is best. Avoid bottled waters that are high in salts, such as sodium or potassium, as they make the kidney work harder.

Avoid high protein diets

If you are following a weight-loss diet, avoid high-protein diets. These can stress the kidney. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids.

Be careful when doing physical activity

It is important to avoid injury to your kidney. You should usually avoid contact sports, such as rugby and football, and extreme sports such as skydiving.

Medicines and supplements

Some painkillers, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can damage the kidney. Ask your doctor for advice before taking over-the-counter medicines or buying vitamin or mineral supplements.

Get your blood pressure checked regularly

High blood pressure does not always cause any symptoms. But it can be bad for the kidneys. It is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly. If it is raised, your doctor can prescribe tablets to control it.

Treating urine infections

Urine infections can usually be easily treated. But if they are ignored, they can cause problems with the kidneys. If you have symptoms of a urine infection, it is important to see your GP.

Symptoms include:

  • smelly or cloudy urine (pee)
  • pain or burning when passing urine (peeing)
  • feeling you have to pass urine (pee) urgently.

We have more information on beginning to recover