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My 89 y/o mother has been diagnosed with kidney cancer and they want to take out the kidney. She says at her age she doesn't think she wants to do it. I fully support whatever she decides. Has anyone else been through this?

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My mom was diagnosed with uterine cancer when she was 80. She was competent at the time, though a bit forgetful. She elected to have the hysterectomy and chemo. Following the surgery whether is was because we were paying more attention to her or the surgery had a profound negative effect on her we will never know. But, anesthesia can have astounding negative effects on the brain function in older people that may or may not be back to normal within a few weeks of surgery. I have seen it both ways, as mom's hubby had a hip replacement and was very loopy and just not cognitively there for a few weeks after, but thankfully returned to normal. The doc also believes he has had prostate cancer for at least five years, and he has chosen to not have surgery for that. So many cancers are slow spreading in elders that they can continue to live for a long time after the original diagnosis.
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My mother was diagnosed with breast CA about 6 months after my sister was diagnosed. Mom was 85 at the time, had some dementia, and we agreed with her oncologist's recommendation just to administer an anticancer med but not undertake chemo. She had also just broken her leg and we felt the leg recovery coupled with a SNF placement compounded by chemo would have been too traumatic for her.

I think at some age it makes more sense to think about maintaining as much quality of life as possible without undertaking treatments which can only make life more difficult if not painfully uncomfortable.
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There are many different kidney cancers, is the cancer a slow growing cancer or a fast moving one? If it is slow growing, your Mom might live for many more years and it will be something else that will take her, not the cancer. Get as much information as you can from her Oncologist, and sometimes a second opinion is helpful.

My Mom has bladder cancer, she's had it for many years and her Urologist said not to worry about it as the type of cancer she has is very slow growing, no surgery, no chemo, just let it be. Mom is now 96 and still doing well in that regard.
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