In Understanding Kidney Cancer Treatments, ‘Knowledge Is Power’

Patients and caregivers of those with kidney cancer can become active members in their care by staying up to date on the latest treatments and medical advances.

As the field of kidney cancer continues to evolve, it is crucial that patients and caregivers stay up-to-date with the latest treatment advances, explained Dr. Phillip Pierorazio, chief of urology at Penn Presbyterian Hospital.

Additionally, now that people with kidney cancer diagnoses are living longer than ever before, there is an ongoing need for survivorship care so that patients and their loved ones know what to look for months or even years after treatment has ended.

Pierorazio recently spoke with CURE® ahead of the 2nd Celebration of Hope: A Kidney Cancer Educational Symposium, hosted by Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center, about the importance of conferences like these from both an educational and community standpoint. Not only can patients be their best advocates by knowing about their disease and its treatments, but educational cancer events help patients find others who are going through similar experiences as they are.

“There’s lots and lots of people out there in the world – in this region of the city – who have that shared experience with each other. Working through things together can really create a sense of purpose and hope, and that sometimes is one of the most powerful treatments we can offer patients,” Pierorazio said.


My basic belief is knowledge is power. If you don't know what to look for, you don't know what to look for. Obviously, the physicians and the nurse practitioners and the PAs are all going to be here to kind of help patients decipher things that they're uncertain of, but you can really be your best advocate by understanding your disease, understanding the process itself, and then understanding all of the things to look out for based on the treatments you've had.

The second really important thing about these meetings is community. Cancer can be incredibly alienating. You know, while it's the ‘big C word,’ and there's commercials all of the time, and everybody knows somebody who's had cancer, there's not a lot of people who know others who've had kidney cancer. That being said, there's lots and lots of people out there in the world, in this region, in this city, who have that shared experience. And sharing that experience with each other, working through things together, can really create a sense of purpose and hope that sometimes is one of the most powerful treatments we can offer our patients.

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