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Solid kidney mass.

Kaiters
Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2012

On 9/03/12 I had a CT scan due to severe abdominal pain. It showed a kidney mass and fluid in my pelvis. On 9/14/12 I had an ultrasound that confirmed the mass is solid and a little over 2cm. I go to a urologist in 2 days. What will happen at my appointment? My doctor told me there's about a 90% chance that solid kidney masses are cancer.

I am nauseous, extremely dizzy, and have headaches on a daily basis. My abdominal pain is on and off.

adman's picture
adman
Posts: 260
Joined: Jul 2012

Just try and relax if you can. Believe me I know that is hard to do.
I was diagnosed 06/12 and had a follow up appt 2 days later w a urologist who ordered all sorts of tests. Hopefully your Dr will as well. I'm sure at least a Chest XRay and MRI will be done. We have some more seasoned patients on this board than myself so I'll defer.

MRI
Chest XRay
MRA
Cystoscopy
PSA Test
Blood work

Get copies of all of these tests, including a CD of all of the imaging, including the CT Scan you were diagnosed with and go get at least a 2nd opinion. I got a 3rd and spoke to another specialist by phone.
Depending on where you are in the country and your insurance, there are some wonderful treatment facilities available.

God Bless you.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1529
Joined: Jan 2010

Kaiters,

Welcome to our club. You have the same feelings I had 10 years ago, being told you have Kidney Cancer and than major surgery right out of the gate. The good thing is that when those little buggers are 4 cm or smaller the cure rate from the surgery alone is close to 100%. You are not going to have all of those drugs and other stuff that our fellow members with Stage 2, 3 or 4 have to put up with. I hope for adman's sake that you are a guy as I see he has already ordered a PSA for you.

When you see the Urologist he will discuss the surgery with you and surgical options. Sometimes the first Urologist you see will not be doing the Surgery and you will be referred to another Urologist.

Trust me your prognosis is excellent, you just have to get over a few bumps (surgery and recovery). Been there. Done that. Not fun, but it beats the alternative.

Icemantoo

adman's picture
adman
Posts: 260
Joined: Jul 2012

Iceman....excellent point. I phrased it wrong. Sorry if I insulted anyone, especially you, Kaiters. Screw these other old bastards;)

alice124's picture
alice124
Posts: 860
Joined: Mar 2012

Watch that "old stuff" adman. And just when I was ready to compliment you on your calming responses recently. . .

adman's picture
adman
Posts: 260
Joined: Jul 2012

When there is a "wink" next to the comment. Besides, I'm not exactly young at 49.
The 'ceramony' on this forum is entertaining to say the least.

mickf
Posts: 15
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi There, your case sounds very similar to mine, I was diagnosed with RCC after tests for kidney stones revealed abnormalities. My consultant said that there was a 5% chance they were not cancerous. My world fell apart until I found this site, although I am extremely worried about my upcoming Radical Nephrectomy, I have found comfort and a great deal of help through the good people on this site. We are all sailing in the same boat, so please take note of what the learned people on this site have to say (they have all been there before). I have taken a lot of what has been relayed to me to heart and found that it has helped me to cope better with the news. I for one, will be a regular contributor to this site when my ordeal is over if only to try and give others the help I have received.
Good luck on your journey

alice124's picture
alice124
Posts: 860
Joined: Mar 2012

Mick

So glad you found this Board and the friendship it permeates. We're here for you and will be with you through surgery. I'm glad you plan to contribute. The best responders on this board are the ones who have been through it.

mickf
Posts: 15
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi There, your case sounds very similar to mine, I was diagnosed with RCC after tests for kidney stones revealed abnormalities. My consultant said that there was a 5% chance they were not cancerous. My world fell apart until I found this site, although I am extremely worried about my upcoming Radical Nephrectomy, I have found comfort and a great deal of help through the good people on this site. We are all sailing in the same boat, so please take note of what the learned people on this site have to say (they have all been there before). I have taken a lot of what has been relayed to me to heart and found that it has helped me to cope better with the news. I for one, will be a regular contributor to this site when my ordeal is over if only to try and give others the help I have received.
Good luck on your journey

matchframe
Posts: 58
Joined: May 2012

My mass was also 2cm in my left kidney. I had a partial nephrectomy last year via traditional surgery at MD Anderson in Houston. I too was also told that it was 90% chance it was cancer, and it was. The good thing about finding it this small is the surgery will generally take care of the cancer without any other treatment as long as it is contained in the kidney. When I first found mine, I got a copy of the CT Scan and took it to a urologist who wanted to wait 6 months to see if it would grow. I took another copy of the CT Scan to MD Anderson and had surgery two weeks later. If you are uncomfortable or uncertain about your urologist I would highly recommend getting a second opinion. I would also highly recommend going to a cancer center instead of a traditional hospital. Just my .02

Keep us informed with your progress!!

Bill

brea588's picture
brea588
Posts: 114
Joined: Jul 2012

I also had 2 cm tumor in my right kidney that radiologist read as RCC. Went to see urologist and he wanted to wait 4 months to scan me again. I had an MRI is where they found the tumor to begin with. This urologist said he wanted to see how much it would grow. I took the same disc to another urologist and had surgery a month later. I do not believe in waiting when suspicious for cancer, early detection is the only cure for cancer. The 1st urologist said he didnt see a solid tumor and if he did he would remove kidney the next day. 2nd urologist talked about the solid mass tumor evident on disc. Surgery has been tough will be 4 weeks tomorrow. Im still having some nausea, still weak but getting stronger. I want to be back to normal real quick lol. Had to have ct scan with oral contrast this morn as I am having problem with stomach pouching out after I eat. Hopefully it is just the healing process i had the robotic partial lap neph and 7 sm incisions , so I want to think its healing of the incisions.

Kaiters
Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2012

Thanks for all the answers and support. I met with my urologist Monday (the 24th) and he told me the tumor needs to come out. He said it is growing both on the inside and outside of my kidney so I definitely will be losing at least part of my kidney, but he said I'd probably lose the entire thing.
I have a repeat CT this Friday (28th)so he can get better views of just my kidneys. I have another appointment Monday (the 1st) when we will discuss surgery and post-surgery and he will also schedule my surgery while I'm there. He told me it'd be within a month. It hadn't 'hit me' at all until today, and it's finally starting to somewhat, but it's a hard thing to grasp for me. I never thought something like this would happen to me, especially at my age (I'm a 19 year old female), but I'm sure that's what everyone thinks.

My left kidney is the one with the mass. Is there a greater/lesser chance of cancer spreading if it's on one kidney instead of the other?

How will we know if it has spread?

What testing will be done on the tumor? He said kidney biopsies are not usually accurate.

How long will I be in the hospital after surgery? He's hoping to do laparoscopic surgery, but if I have to lose an entire kidney I'd have open surgery.

I have so many questions... I don't like having to wait in between appointments.

Thanks again!

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

Hi Kaiters,

My entire left kidney was removed 34 months ago laparoscopicly, I was 58. Yes, we all feel roughly the same emotions and ask the same questions, but I think at only 19 everything is amped up a level. "You have cancer and need surgery." are not easy words to digest at any age, but rest assured that what you are going through is normal.

In answering your questions, no there is no greater chance of spreading on one kidney instead of the other. As a side note, my surgeon said the surgery on the left side is actually easier because there are fewer organs in the way and the renal artery is longer making it easier to dissect. Even if he takes your whole kidney laparoscopic should be a possibility, I would ask questions about that.

They will do a pathology report on the tumor after it is removed and you will get the final report in about a week. It will define size, stage, grade, and type, it will also determine if the margins are clear which means it has not spread. Your surgeon will also take a look around inside to see if there is any other evidence of disease. Keep in mind that it would be extremely rare for a tumor your size to have spread. It is much more likely that this surgery will be a full cure with nothing more than follow-up exams required for the next few years.

For a lararscopic procedure you will be in the hospital for about 3 days give or take, you are young and could be out sooner. You will start feeling much better at about 2 weeks post op. For an open procedure the hospital stay will likely be a bit longer maybe 4 to 6 days and recovery a bit tougher with 4 to 6 weeks of down time. Either way it is important to drink plenty of water and walk as much as possible to aid the recovery process.

The waiting can be very difficult, it is best to stay busy as much as possible to avoid thinking about it. Go out with friends, enjoy yourself, exercise, and finish projects that you won't feel like working on for awhile after surgery.

You didn't ask, but life after surgery, partial or full, is pretty much the same as before. After a couple months you will be your old self with 70 years or so to forget the time when you "HAD" cancer. Be very thankful that it was caught early. Keep us posted and we'll help you through it.

Good luck and Godspeed,

Gary

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1529
Joined: Jan 2010

Kaiters,

Gary and I had our surgeries at ages 58 and 59. At 19 you are going to have it much easier than us middle age guys. We have had a few young ladies under 30 this past year join our club. Both are doing fine. One even went on a roller coaster after 3 months. Don't do that. Wait until next summer. And forget the PSA that adman ordered. You get a pass on that,

Icemantoo

adman's picture
adman
Posts: 260
Joined: Jul 2012

...was just pointing out what was ordered for me. Geez, Pali, let it go. Is this about being right or being healthy?

adman's picture
adman
Posts: 260
Joined: Jul 2012
James1980
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2012

That you are currently. I had my surgery two weeks ago yesterday and can tell you that you will do just fine. Like the song says, "the waiting is the hardest part," and I can attest that it really is.

I am relatively new to this, but I know what I experienced in regards to your questions:

I, too, was having severe abdominal pain and an MRI revealed a small mass, 2cm to be exact, on my right kidney. I met with a Urologic Oncologist 3 days later and was told that it was most likely cancerous and needed to come out.

I had the surgery on 9/12 at Vanderbilt UMC in Nashville and was discharged on 9/14. Each case is different and my oncologist actually expected a 3-5 day hospital stay, so I'd plan on that (and hey, if you get out earlier, then you can take solace in the fact that you are healing very nicely!)

My doctor performed blood work before and after my surgery to determine if there were cancer cells present after removal (there were not in either case.)

He also told me that he did not like to biopsy the mass before surgery because it basically opens the mass and can cause cells to "leak out." So, they biopsied mine after removal.

I actually opted for an open surgery because the surgeon told me that he liked to be able to see the whole kidney and make sure he could get the whole tumor.

Each case is different, I understand that, but rest assured that you will be just fine. Your tumor is small, as was mine, and I am considered completely cured. No chemo, no radiation. I count my blessings every day.

One thing I did was to browse the threads here and read about everyone else's experience; you'll see you're in good company. Also, call your doctor with questions. Mine never hesitated to get back in touch with me, even if it was via email, to calm me down.

I pray that all goes well for you, and hope that you'll keep up updated.

Hang in there, it does get better!

dhs1963's picture
dhs1963
Posts: 373
Joined: May 2012

Kaiters,

First I am sorry you have to be dealing with this at such a young age. With that said, a 2 cm tumor in the kidney is cured with surgery, and at 2 cm, you should have most of you kidney saved with a partial nephrectomy.

If it is 100% in the kidney there is no pathway for the cancer to spread.

One final comment, according to the medical experts I have talked to, the RCC can be a very slow growing cancer, usually less than. 1 cm/yr, and possibly 1 mm/year. That mean that I may have been born with my 5 cm tumor. It also means that many of us that are reporting our larger middle aged rumors may have had the same size tumor when we where 19. Much better to get it out early.

Max Power's picture
Max Power
Posts: 60
Joined: Sep 2012

When I had my right kidney out I asked what post op life would be like. He said, "You have good circulation and your other kidney will grow to compensate, you should not feel any different." And he was right.

Also, as mentioned elsewhere, they are able to accomplish this surgery with incredibly minimal after-effects - you may not be on any pain meds at all.

See thread below "protocols for follow-up testing" as to how you will be tested in the years after op.

You can do this.
Max

Kaiters
Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2012

Thank you everyone so much for the helpful words. I had a CT on Thursday and my family doctor's office told me they think the mass looks smaller and it implies that there's an infection. Pyelonephritis is what they called it. They said not to get my hopes up because it was just a 'regular doctor' reading it and not a specialist. Is this possible? My UA doesn't show any sign of infection.

I'm hoping that's all it is, but they said to wait and see what my urologist says Monday. If he thinks it may not be a mass, will he still want to remove it to be safe?

Thanks again for all the support. You are all great :)

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1529
Joined: Jan 2010

Kaiters,

Wouldn't it be nice if the mass turned out to be something other than RCC and you didn't have to join our club at such a young age. It is a bit hard for us to weigh in on your conflicting diagnosis. Let us hope that it is nothing. However in a worst case scenerio if it is RCC, they have caught it in time and you will be fine after a not so fun surgery. Lets hope you do not have to join our club, but if you do we will welcome you with open arms.

Icemantoo

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

Well said iceman. Kaiters, here's hoping we don't need to get to know you better. Good luck, whatever the next turn of events.

angec's picture
angec
Posts: 621
Joined: Mar 2012

Kaiters.....be sure to get second and even third opinions before your surgery. Did they do an MRI as well? Are they giving you antibiotics to clear the infection? I hope you have someone going with you that understands all of this. At your age it seems logical that it can be an infection and I am praying it is. Are they doing a pet ct scan with contrast? What was the new size mentioned? Were your WBCs elevated on your blood tests? Please keep us posted. Looking forward to hearing good news. Praying for you! :)

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