A healthy diet is a good idea for everyone, and proper nutrition is even more important if you’re headed for surgery. But though the Internet may present you with lists of foods to avoid if you have kidney problems, there’s actually nothing about being treated for kidney cancer that means you have to adopt a special diet. In fact, most of the time, people have adequate kidney function even if they’ve had a kidney removed. Assuming that’s you, that means you can keep enjoying avocados and bananas (both are high in potassium, a no-no for people with poor renal function), and drinking milk (high in potassium, phosphorus and protein, all potentially problematic if your kidney function is low). Want a glass of potassium-rich OJ? No reason not to enjoy.
On the flip side, there’s no evidence that specific foods will help you after a diagnosis, either. Some studies suggest (but don’t prove) that eating plenty of cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, can reduce your risk of developing kidney cancer. There are similar hints that red wine (not white) and dark beer (not light) may be protective, too. But no research suggests that eating these foods after a diagnosis of kidney cancer will affect your outcome. So chow down on Brussels sprouts only if you feel like eating them.