Patient stories: A woman with kidney cancer

In a case published in the New England Journal of Medicine, here’s the story of a woman diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) – the most common form of kidney cancer.

Of course, her real name wasn’t included in the case report, so let’s call her Josephina.

Josephina is a 72-year old, retired mother of four from the Dominican Republic. In 2014, she went to see her doctor about pain she felt on her right side. The diagnosis she got at the time was kidney stones, and her doctor prescribed medications accordingly.

Fast forward to one year after. Josephina emigrated to the United States, and went to see her new doctor for pain on both her sides and back.

This time, ultrasound picked up no kidney stones, but found a suspicious lump on her right kidney. MRI and biopsy later confirmed that she had RCC.

To learn more about what RCC is, how it’s treated, and what side effects to watch out for during treatment, take a look at the Med101 series on RCC:


Source case report: Hazar DB, et al. N Engl J Med 2015;373:1958-67. A paid subscription may be required.

Last updated: September 17, 2016.
Photo adapted from original by Hey Paul Studios, used under license.

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