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May I ask how your kidney cancer was detected?

recnac_grl
Posts: 36
Joined: Sep 2008

hello-
I'm just wondering how everyone's kidney cancer was found? My beloved sister's was found stage 4 after having stomach pains for a while. She passed away shortly after her kidney removal surgery (nephrectomy?). I miss her every day and still mourn for her. It has been 2 years but seems like just yesterday. Like everyone else, I hate cancer.
I would appreciate if you would be willing to share your experience of how you were diagnosed. Did you have symptoms? Was it found incidentally? Thank you.
And just so you know, my prayers are will all of you and your families. God bless.

Warmly,
Dottie

MikeK703's picture
MikeK703
Posts: 235
Joined: Sep 2010

Hi,
I am not an expert and don't want to speak incorrectly on something so important, and hopefully somebody here who knows more about these kinds of results will respond. What's your stage? Sounds like it would be Stage 3. And the Furhman grade? Grades 1 - 4, with 4 being the worst and 1 being the best (if we can use such a word as "best"). Although cancer wasn't found in the lymph nodes, the cells found in the renal vein indicate that you are at greater risk for metatasis than, say, a Stage 1 or Stage 2. In other words it COULD have spread elsewhere via the renal vein, but there is no evidence that it has. Microscopic cells that escaped the renal vein would eventually grow and become obvious. I would think the option of doing nothing would be to spare you the side effects of the drugs if there is no evidence that it has spread. The drugs option (a trial drug or one that is more commonly used) would work on the assumption that the cells have spread and try to kill them before they grow and spread elsewhere. This is my layman's understanding that comes primarily from reading a lot of stuff here and other places online about kidney cancer. I could be wrong. Your oncologist should be able to explain it to your satisfaction. Your treatment or "do nothing" option will be a decision that you will have to make after consulting with your oncologist.
Wishing you the best,
Mike

garym's picture
garym
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

ejones,

I'm sorry to meet you under these circumstances, but you have come to the right place for support and help as you deal with RCC. We have all been on the roller coaster ride of fear, emotion, and WTF, you are not alone and what you are experiencing is part of the process. I don't have personal experience with vascular invasion, there are others here who do and you will probably hear from them. There is also a vascular invasion thread that could be of help. If you could provide a bit more information from your path report like type, stage, and grade it would be helpful as the group lends a hand.

Gary

MikeK703's picture
MikeK703
Posts: 235
Joined: Sep 2010

Hi Gary and Ejones,
I'm still pretty much unclear about whether or not "vascular space" and "renal vein" invasions are one and the same. Raj's situation was very similar to mine regarding size and grade. He said he had "renal vein" invasion and was put at Stage 3. My pathology report indicated "vascular space invasion" and I was put in Stage 1 and told no treatment was necessary. I really don't know the difference. That's why I asked ejones about his Stage. I assumed it was Stage 3 because treatment was an option. It's worrisome at times to attempt to explain things here because of the possibility that we could be wrong and are just passing on our misinformation.
Everybody, don't be afraid to ask your doctor questions. Yet sometimes that doesn't help much as you can see from my situation after asking about vascular space invasion two times already and still being uncertain about the exact meaning. I only know he has given me a >90% chance of survival. When I don't understand something and find myself worrying aboout it, I have to force myself to remember this and be grateful.
Regards,
Mike

garym's picture
garym
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Mike,

I know what you mean, I feel funny saying anything when the only space invaders I'm familiar with was the arcade game from about 100 years ago. Sometimes we just have to rely on what the "experts" tell us.

Gary

ejones_pa's picture
ejones_pa
Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2012

Mike and Gary, thank you for your responses. My husband and I are in quite a tailspin right now as I am sure you understand. There is so much to take in and try to evaluate. I am 51, female, and Stage 3, (T3 NO NX or is it MX) Still greek to me. I will have to have the oncologist today write this down. My surgeon who I saw yesterday is also anxious to hear what my second opinion oncologist has to say. My surgeon was confident that the cancer was contained within my kidney, no cancer cells in the lymph nodes and was quite surprised that there was microscopic cells in the renal vein that he removed. He stated that tumors can grow inside the vein but this was not the case. Am I fooling myself thinking that removing the kidney was enough? I see that others on here have definate types of cancer, including the type, stage and grade. I will ask the doctor today to better explain this to me. As you said fear, emotion and plain old WTF ! Thanks will keep you posted and will follow up on the vascular invasion thread.

MikeK703's picture
MikeK703
Posts: 235
Joined: Sep 2010

ejones,

Here is a web page that might help with understanding the pathology report:
http://www.cancer.net/patient/Cancer+Types/Kidney+Cancer?sectionTitle=Staging With Illustrations

Mike

pookiesue
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2012

my doctor found a spot on my RIGHT kidney,& blood in my urine so, she sent me to a surgeon .He said, I would rather not operate at this time because its not that big & im ,not sure it is cancer so lets wait 4 months for another test to see if it has grown.I told him my kidneys hurt so bad. He said there is no pain in the kidneys. I guess Ill have to wait & see in 4 months.

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

The advice you've been given is sound - wait and watch and don't do anything prematurely - this is now accepted as the best approach with small tumours.

When did you start getting the pain that you feel to be in the kidney area? It will probably go away spontaneously. If not, then you'd better have it explored in case there's something else that needs attention.

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

I wonder what has become of Sean who posted such an inspirational message on 16th March. Does anyone have any info? He deserves the best possible outcome and it would be so good to hear that he's doing well. He was due a CT scan on 17th April.

SeanT
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2012

First of all, I have to apologize for not getting back here sooner and updating everyone on my condition. I found this site during recovery and never really thought anyone would really pay attention to it until I got an email last night asking me to post a response. Well.....the results came back clean.....absolutely no new growths or any signs of cancer so far. There is a couple spots on my lungs but they have not grown an iota since DEcember and a 3 cm growth on my liver but they say that too has not grown since December and they consider it a benign tumor. What a relief to me and my wife...very very happy with the results. Next scan is in 3 months and I hope it is the same....Now, I would appreciate it very much if all of you wouild just follow my lead and do the same....let's kick the hell outta this disease and support each other when it tries to fight back.
I will try my best to keep you all updated in future and please do not hesitate to drop me a line telling me how you are all doing as well - this life of mine has gotten very busy lately and I dont get the time to surf as I should......emails definitely help.....lol. Stay strong....and live LIFE!!!!

SeanT
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2012

First of all, I have to apologize for not getting back here sooner and updating everyone on my condition. I found this site during recovery and never really thought anyone would really pay attention to it until I got an email last night asking me to post a response. Well.....the results came back clean.....absolutely no new growths or any signs of cancer so far. There is a couple spots on my lungs but they have not grown an iota since DEcember and a 3 cm growth on my liver but they say that too has not grown since December and they consider it a benign tumor. What a relief to me and my wife...very very happy with the results. Next scan is in 3 months and I hope it is the same....Now, I would appreciate it very much if all of you wouild just follow my lead and do the same....let's kick the hell outta this disease and support each other when it tries to fight back.
I will try my best to keep you all updated in future and please do not hesitate to drop me a line telling me how you are all doing as well - this life of mine has gotten very busy lately and I dont get the time to surf as I should......emails definitely help.....lol. Stay strong....and live LIFE!!!!

garym's picture
garym
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi pookie,

Did the doc mention size at this stage? What were the blood in your urine and pain attributed to? Were kidney stones mentioned or possibly a UTI? Waiting is sound advice, but if you have unanswered questions use the time to get them answered.

Good luck and Godspeed,

Gary

KJones1969
Posts: 158
Joined: Mar 2012

My husband was in the hospital 2 times with anemia. The doctor was doing other test when I ask for a consult with an oncologist and he ordered a catscan with contrast. He had a nephrectomy in March and just started Votrient Saturday to hopefully treat the 5 spots in his lungs. He has stage IV clear cell carcinoma.

matchframe
Posts: 58
Joined: May 2012

I woke up with extreme pain and my wife took me to the emergency room. They did a CT Scan and confirmed my first kidney stone in my right kidney. The Dr came to talk with us and said that I also has a mass on my left kidney. I ended up going to MD Anderson where I had surgery on 15 September 2011 to remove part of my left kidney. The mass was stage 1 cancer. I have since returned to have a follow up CT Scan which confirmed that they got all of the cancer out. I now have to return once a year for CT Scans to monitor my kidneys. I call that kidney stone - my first and only kidney stone - a gift from God. It was because of that stone that we knew about the mass that early.

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