Medications and extra fluid infusions can help protect your kidneys from damage during chemotherapy.
To help protect your kidneys during chemotherapy treatments, your doctor will monitor your kidney health.
They may prescribe protective medications or offer more intravenous (IV) fluids to help drain chemotherapy waste from your body.
In some cases, chemotherapy treatments may need to be temporarily adjusted or stopped to improve kidney function.
Before starting chemotherapy, your doctors may perform a variety of tests to determine how healthy your kidneys are.
During chemotherapy, doctors may do a number of
- checking fluid and electrolyte levels to see how well the kidneys are working
- infusing the body with extra fluids to help flush chemotherapy drug waste out of the body
- prescribing drugs like amifostine to help protect the kidneys
- treating any other health issues
- lowering chemotherapy levels or recommending dialysis if the kidneys are failing
Some of the
Nephrotoxins found in chemotherapy treatments can cause cysts, inflammation, and damage to structures in the kidneys. This can result in kidney dysfunction, chronic kidney disease, and even kidney failure.
In many cases, kidneys
Some factors that affect whether the kidneys can recover from any chemotherapy damage include:
- whether or not kidney problems were present before chemotherapy
- the extent/length of the chemotherapy treatments
- the specific drugs used in the chemotherapy treatments
- if other treatments like radiation are also performed
According to the study, injuries to the kidney were twice as likely to happen within the first 90 days following cancer treatment. The cancers with the highest rate of AKJ were myeloma, bladder, and leukemia.
An advanced cancer stage, preexisting kidney conditions, and diabetes were some of the factors linked with a higher rate of kidney injury.
Another study looked at the presence of kidney problems in children with cancer. It noted that 56% of the children faced kidney and urinary tract issues during and shortly after treatment.
Severe kidney disease was rare in long-term survivors but was significantly more common than in their siblings.
If chemotherapy injures your kidneys, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, medications, reducing the amount of chemotherapy being given, or even kidney dialysis.
Lifestyle strategies like not drinking and smoking can promote kidney health. Also, a diet low in sodium, potassium, and phosphorus can help your kidneys stay as healthy as possible. You can read more about that here.
Your doctor may also recommend regular physical activity and weight loss if you have overweight or live with obesity.
In some cases, doctors may suggest reducing the amount of chemo administered.
If the kidneys can’t properly filter and remove waste from the body, dialysis may be necessary.
Your kidneys can become damaged as they break down and remove chemotherapy drugs from your body.
To help prevent serious kidney damage, your doctors may offer more fluid in your infusions during chemotherapy treatments and prescribe protective medications.
They’ll perform tests to determine how healthy your kidneys are before beginning chemotherapy and continue to check your kidneys throughout the chemotherapy process.
If your kidneys become unable to properly filter waste out of your body, you may need to change your chemotherapy treatments or undergo dialysis.