Kidney Cancer

So what do I do now? What do any of us do? We keep moving ahead, we keep reaching high, and above all, we do not waste our lives. There isn’t much time for tears when there is so much life to live - Justin Hienz

Kidney Cancer

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Lessons From Behind the Curtain


The radiology tech waved me into his cozy dark room filled with bright screens. It’s usually off-limits to patients, but maybe he knew I was a local doctor and faculty member at Harvard Medical School, which can occasionally get me a backstage pass. With a smirk, he told me I should eat something, pointing at the air in my stomach on the X-rays he had taken moments earlier.

I’d had surgery to remove three metastatic tumors from my lungs just hours before, and every breath ended with a wince. Food was not on my mind, but the tech had made me smile — air in the stomach usually signals that the patient needs to burp, not hunger. I began thinking about the potential for a case…

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Last Updated : Monday, June 13, 2022