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Joanne was diagnosed with kidney cancer in early May. She had a vascular tumor in her left kidney as well as cancer in her left uterer (the tube that carries the urine to the bladder) and 4 lymph nodes. Since the tumor was vascular, they couldn't do a biopsy so they didn't know the exact kind of cancer or it's stage until after she had surgery.
On May 31, she went to Rochester General Hospital and had her left kidney, left uterer and 2 of the lymph nodes removed. The other 2 lymph nodes had adhered to the aorta (the main artery that carries blood through your body) and couldn't be removed without doing damage to the aorta and causing major bleeding. She has Stage 4 renal cell carcinoma and will need to undergo additional treatment once she has healed from the surgery. Right now the plan is to put her on Votrient, a pill that targets only the cancer cells. While the cancer is incurable, it can go into remission.