Kidney Cancer: An Unexpected Diagnosis

May 15, 2017, 2:09pm EDT

Kelly Cline thought her daughter Hannah was just like any other one year old—happy, healthy and curious, but that soon changed. A month after Hannah’s 12-month check-up, Kelly noticed her daughter’s stomach protruding. A follow-up visit to the doctor provided Kelly with a diagnosis she never expected: cancer. Kidney cancer is a disease that starts in the kidneys. It happens when healthy cells in one or both kidneys turn cancerous to form a lump (called a tumor). It often can go undetected as it lacks signs and symptoms.
Hannah had surgery to remove her left kidney, ovary and Fallopian tube and immediately started chemotherapy treatments which lasted seven months. Today, Hannah is 16 years old and healthy as ever despite other kidney complications and a transplant at age 11.
Although Hannah’s cancer was unavoidable, the risk for most kidney cancers can be reduced by maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, avoiding toxins and more. Learn more about kidney cancer by checking out our latest patient resource that explores symptoms, treatment options and more.