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question on diagnosis

cindygodfrey2
Posts: 43
Joined: Mar 2012

My husband had flank pain and frank blood in his urine. Has now had a CT scan with contrast and the urologist told him he has a large mass on his left kidney and will have to have all or part of his kidney removed. He referred him to a urologic oncologist for surgery and that appointment is tomorrow. At what point is Cancer diagnosed? Is it safe to believe that his doesn't have a cancerous tumor? Did the urologist just be safe with his words? Of course my husband asked NO questions and I have what seems like millions. I was so happy to find this discussion group. Thank you for your insight.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1550
Joined: Jan 2010

cidney godfrey2,

From the words large mass on kidney, removal and Urological Oncologist there is a 90% or more chance that it is Cancer. The recovery rate for tumors 4cm or less is close to 100%. As the tumor gets bigger or metatisizes than the full recovery rate goes down. Assuming they are able to get everything out through surgery he will be able to say he had Cancer. The diagnosis is confirmed after surgery. Usually almost all tumors 2 cm or more in size are Cancer and even if they turn out to be benign would turn to Cancer if not removed. Sorry you had to here those words Kidney Cancer and Surgery right out of the gate. Not fun. I am 9 and 1/2 years post surgery with no problems. Initially I was tested 1 or 2 times per year, but recently it is just a yearly ultrasound. At 68 my Urologist assures me I will die of something else. My tumor was 4.2 cm. Almost all of us on this board heve had the surgery and most of us have been Cancer free since than.

Best wishes,

Icemantoo

PS: Those of us with Kidney Cancer are special. Only 3% Of Cancers belong to our group

cindygodfrey2
Posts: 43
Joined: Mar 2012

I appreciate you taking the time to share your knowledge. The best!

cww71964's picture
cww71964
Posts: 95
Joined: Dec 2011

Hi Cindy,
Unfortunately, what I was told is that 95% of kidney masses are cancer. I will pray that your husband falls in the 5%. If it happens to be cancer, seems they are moving fast and it should be in the early stages so a complete cure is a probability. I would assume they are going to remove the kidney, or part of it, no matter what. The only sure way to tell if it is cancer is to have a pathologist look at the mass. He will be fine no matter what. I am 7 weeks post op from having my left kidney removed and am doing fine. I was up and walking in 2 days, out of the hospital, in 4, and back to work in 3 weeks. If they recommend surgery, don't be surprised if it is scheduled 6-8 weeks from now. If it is cancer, it is usually very slow growing and the delay doesn't hurt physically although it can cause some mental anxiety. Tell him to use the time to get in as best shape possible as it will help in recovery. You have found an excellent site for information and support. I know it has helped me immensely. Best wishes to you and your husband. You will be in my prayers.

Wayne

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1910
Joined: Oct 2011

Take some time to update yourself on many of these posts. You'll find some answers to some of your questions and new questions to ask of the Drs. Be persistant. Good luck to you and your husband.

cindygodfrey2
Posts: 43
Joined: Mar 2012

Thank you foxhd....never thought about not being able to ride with my husband anymore until i read some of your posts. I see that we probably will! I am persistent! That's how I learned to ride my own bike! :) Ride Safe and the best to you.

cindygodfrey2
Posts: 43
Joined: Mar 2012

Thank you very much for your prayers and sharing your experience. The best to you!

livealive's picture
livealive
Posts: 127
Joined: Feb 2012

First, don't jump the gun. I do it every time. I have some questions, some people have written to you and who are "probably" right, BUT, this is a time of high anxiety, and our brains don't work very well on anxiety.

Some questions:

How BIG is this mass ?
How old is your husband ?
Where do you live ?
What health is he in ?
Smoker ?
Obese ?

In answering your questions -

(1) Cancer is diagnosed once they take the tumor out, and give the pathology report.
(2) No, it is not safe to he doesn't have a cancerous tumor. Statistically, 20% are benign, 25% are indolent, and 55% are malignant (i.e. have the potential to spread, not that it already has). Presume it is Cancer, as hard as it is, this will define the new normal.
(3) No, the urologist is not being safe with his words. I wish mine did tell me when he saw something, they didn't, and 2.5 years later a new technician saw it, only because she was new, but now I am considered a stage 3 survivor, with the 2.5 cm tumor removed, although it had gone into a renal vein.

Find a good surgeon, if you need names here in NYC, ask. But, they need not remove his kidney, they can remove only the tumor. Use www.usnews.come to find a good surgeon, not just go to the one the urologist sends you to.

You MUST read - http://www.kidneycancer.org/knowledge/learn/about-kidney-cancer from the Kidney Cancer Association.

Thanks for asking the questions, we want to help you make the right information. We are all dealing with this, and we have difficult decisions to make, the least we can do is obtain and provide information.

Raj.

cindygodfrey2
Posts: 43
Joined: Mar 2012

Thank you for your questions and answers. We live in Dallas Texas. My husband is 48, obese and smokes occasionally. Despite those two issues, he is in good health. No other problems and no medications. I don't know how large the mass is but we have an appointment this morning with the urologic oncologist. I am a Registered Nurse and not afraid to ask questions. I have researched and read everything I believe to be credible. I just dwell on every single word I read or hear but know I will find some answers today. I value the knowledge and experience from this group. I am a member of an online support group for Alzheimers as we care for my mother in our home with this diagnosis. Thanks again and I wish the best for all of you.

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1910
Joined: Oct 2011

Also try to be aware of post op treatment options. We have all had different ones and not always the best ones. By our concensus.

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