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Kidney Tumor

KimGardner
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2005

Hi I have just been informed by my doctor that after waiting almost 3 months for the information from ultrasounds and CT Scans that I have a tumor in my right Kidney. He wanted me to wait and see if it got any bigger 6 months from now, but I opted to see a specialist. There is a lot of Cancer in my family. Does anyone know what comes next? I've been on many web sites about kidney cancer in the last few days and so far each one has said different things. One said that they basically take the kidney or partially take the kidney, and another says to do a biopsy, but yet another says that having a biopsy will be dangerous in case it comes back cancerous.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks

wjm1961
Posts: 11
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi Kim,

I am sorry to hear your news. I had a partial Nephrectomy in Jan -04. I saw 2 Urologists and a Urologist/Oncologist as well as my primary doctor all were on the same, no biopsy do the surgery to remove or partially remove the kidney. It wasn't hard for me to make my decision. I wish you all the best.

Chicago's picture
Chicago
Posts: 74
Joined: Apr 2004

Hey Kim,

If the doc is willing to wait 6 months, even if it turns out to be cancer, it sounds like you've probably caught it early.

Different docs have different ideas of how serious these things can be. I was also given the option to wait 6 months, but my docs recommended against it. They found a definite mass in my kidney, but the scans were inconclusive if it was cancer. They quoted me only a 20% chance it was, but still recommended getting it out. 20% was enough of a risk for me.

Well, the 20% chance became 100% once they took the thing out and did the pathology. 3 years out, and no sign of a return.

Unless they can definitely rule out cancer in your case, I'd want to get that thing the hell out of my body, especially with a history of cancer in the family. Kidney cancer is nothing to mess with. I think you made the right call to see a specialist (you want a urological oncologist, or a urologist with experience in cancer who has done many nephrectomies).

Whether you have the partial or whole nephrectomy depends a lot on the size of the mass, its location, and whether it has spread outside of the kidney. My docs were very conservative on this point, and opted to save as much of the kidney as they could.

I biopsy would make me suspicious. Renal Cell (the most common form of kidney cancer) can be quite viscious and untreatable once it spreads in the body. It can usually be entirely removed though, while it is still entirely contained within the kidney. The important consideration is to make sure that none of cancer cells break free and escape into the body. A much smaller risk if they take out the whole kidney at once.

The partial operation is therefore actually much more serious. They have to really open you up to make sure they don't cut into a cancerous mass. And that is the very problem with the biopsy. I tend to agree with the information you have that says a biopsy is dangerous, because if it is cancer, you could risk puncturing the tumor and allowing cancer cells to bleed into the body elsewhere.

Please feel free to email me any time privately if you have any questions.

urkabsd
Posts: 37
Joined: Jul 2005

hi, kim,
i would most certainly see a specialist. i had a total kidney, rib and lymph gland removal in late feb. of this year. thank GOD, it was contained in the kidney and so far, all my sCANS have been negative. i didn't have a biopsy, they told me that it was not necessary and probably dangerous. they knew 99% going in that it was cancer. get a kidney surgeon who has done this many many times. the surgery truly is not that bad and recovery is pretty swift from the really bad part. it takes a long time for you to get all your strength back but it is so worth it not to have the cancer anymore!

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