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Ultrasound found 4cm mass - neoplasm cannot be excluded - fraking out

peter75
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2011

36 y/o male, just taken control of my life, started eating better and excersizing.. Never felt better, no symptoms other then muscle soreness after heavy gym sessions.

On the annuel physical all blood and urine tests came back mostly good, slightly high cholesterol, a bit low vitamin D, etc. PCP asked if I had any other complaints, I tried to think of any, I asked him if there is any other tests I should do to justify spending $500/mo on the health insurance, and he said my liver blood tests are slightly above normal range, so he sent me to pelvic ultrasound just in case.

1 day later I received a phone call to urgently see my doctor, here is the ultrasound report:

"Lower pole cortex low echogenicity mass versus atypical lobulation lower pole left kidney maximal dimension 4cm. Neoplasm cannot be excluded. Recommend CT or MRI with and without contrast"

Doctor asked me if I wanted CT or MRI, I asked whats better, he asked about metal parts in my body, and said MRI probably has better resolution so I'm scheduled for MRI next Monday.. He also absolutely downplayed it, and was all "its probably nothing serious" and instead wanted to talk more about blood pressure, taking vitamins etc.

But I just went through being primary caregiver for my mom, who had stage 4 lung cancer, and the word "neoplasm" and googling "4cm kidney mass" really freaked me out, so now I'm shaking and can't work or sleep, my excersize schedule went to hell, I don't even know if I'm supposed to be pushing myself doing 1 hour of cardio every day, or am i doing more harm then good?

Really have no one to talk to.

Also I'm in NYC metro area, should I try to enroll with Sloan-Kattering cancer center? Or stay with whatever local urologist my PCP will likely send me after the MRI? Does Sloan-Kettering accept "suspected" cases, or you have to go to them only after your diagnosis is confirmed?

candoredo
Posts: 44
Joined: May 2011

Peter75. I had 2 2.2cm Renal cell carcinomas, found by MRI one was taken care of by cryoablation and the other was taken care of by open partial nephrectomy 2 years later. I was refered to a urologist surgeon. they did a biopsy of the tumors and then scheduled me for the treatments. I know how scary it is to have someone tell you it is or could be cancer. I am just 2 weeks out form from my open incision partial nephrectomy. I wont tell you it was a walk in the park but it isnt that bad a surgery. If you are useing sloan-ketering they will have all your possibilties available. I am sure your General Practice Doctor will have some good people to refer to you. most kidney cancer can be cured, with one or the other types of surgeries. Get your referal and work toward the cure. I wish you the best of luck. Please keep us posted on how it goes.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1653
Joined: Jan 2010

Dear Peter75,

The bad news is that when I googled Neoplasm it was synanomous with tumor. The good news is that even if the tumor is malignant (which it very likely might be) at 4 cm it is a small tumor and this size Kidney Cancer tumor is very lilely cured by surgery. Do not be scared by any mortality tables for Kidney Cancer as the scary numbers usually apply to larger tumors. My suggestion is see a Urologist or call Sloan Kettering before your test as they may want a CT scan rather than an MRI.

Nine years ago my urine turned red after heavy yard work. MY GP sent me to a Urologist who ordered a CT scan to make sure it was nothing more serious than a broken blood vessel. The CT result came back showing a 2.7cm tumor with a 80 to 90% chance of being Kidney Cancer. I was told just befor my 59th birthday that I had to be scheduled for a nepherectomy.I was freaked out to put it mildly. The operation confirmmed that it was Cancer and the little rascal turned out to be 4.2cm Radiologists can only guess at the size on a CT scan MRI or ultrasound.

My first and hopefully last treatment was the surgery 9 years ago. I went water skiing for my 60th birthday 11 months later. I am here to try and help the newcomers. Your reactions are normal. Unless I missed something you should get through this with flying colors.

There is no way to sugar coat the surgery. There are a lot of recent posts where people like us have recently gone thru the surgery. Hopefully you will find them overall to be very encouraging.

Best wishes,

Icemantoo

peter75
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2011

Thank you for encouraging words guys. Hopefully having no symptoms means that it did not spread and can be removed, after lots of googling it seems 4cm is upper maximum for partial thing.

I got the call from Sloan-Kettering admissions, and I'm faxing them my ultrasound report and blood work. They want me to go to my scheduled MRI Monday ask them for images CD, and then they'll see from there.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1653
Joined: Jan 2010

Dear Peter75.

As a tumor grows it spreads. You often do not feel any symptems of it spreading. At 4 cm it is unlickely to have spread. Get diagnosed and get the little rascal out before it has time to spread. Tumors much larger than 4 cm can be removed, but the larger they are the more chance they have of having matastisised.

Best wishes,

Icemantoo

Jamie1.3cm's picture
Jamie1.3cm
Posts: 188
Joined: Jan 2011

It can be very disorienting to be clobbered with the news all at once. We watched my mass grow over a period of, literally, years before we decided it had to be removed. But you've got a lot of good news on your side.

IF the mass looks solid on the MRI or CT, they will want to remove it. And since your mass is so small, you will have a variety of surgical options. And as Iceman mentioned, with small tumors, surgery is the "cure." If it doesn't look solid, then they'll just want to watch it; it could easily be a cyst or some other benign thingy.

I would stick to your regular urologist until they have more info. You can certainly get CDs of the images if you need them for follow up.

You can definitely keep up your exercise. In fact, I made sure to swim extra laps before my surgery to help keep up my circulation.

We'll be here to talk you through everything, every step of the way.

peter75
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2011

Just pickup up my MRI report, it says "comparing the ultrasound and MRI images, no evidence of lesions, the results of the ultrasound are likely to be infiltration of the kidney lobe by fat".

Doctor assures me that with MRI report like there is no need for urologist to look at it. I still faxed the report to Sloan-Kettering admissions, just in case.

Thank you very much for support everyone, this last week had been hell, waiting for the scans, and then for the results, and re-evaluating my life. This had been a huge wake-up call.

I wish everyone good luck, hang in there guys.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1653
Joined: Jan 2010

Peter75,

Sounds like good news.
Unfortunately with most of us with your initial results it does turn out to be RCC. We therefore did not want to put any false hopes out there that it was not RCC as most people would unrealistically hang on to the false hope. Hopefully we were able to reassure you that if it was RCC that everything would work out OK. Sorry you can not join our club.

Best wishes,

Icemantoo

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