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CT scan report

Lynnmaw
Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2013

My mother in law gave me her medical report from CT scan with and without contrasting.  There really isn't a whole lot of information in it other than it's definitely not a simple cyst and is probably complex.  There's no information on size of lesion or other diagnostic information.  As far as treatment,  the recommendation is follow up CT in 3-4 months due to her "age group".  She is 82 and does have other issues.  I'm at a loss.  If it's not a simple cyst and is most likely complex, does she most likely have kidney cancer  or RCC?  WHY would they not tell her?  If they are going to do nothing but monitor her, how long would she have if they're actually not going to treat her?  She must suspect or why would she have her daughter and I looking this up for her?   Any information would be greatly appreciated

mrs_blkjak's picture
mrs_blkjak
Posts: 100
Joined: Apr 2013

I don't know the size of her tumor, but if it has not spread her chances of long-term survival are really good. RCC is slow growing, usually only one centimeter a year. The first thing you Benedict to do is find out if there is a possibility that this is cancer. If you have not seen an oncologist yet, I would schedule an appointment with one who specializes in RCC and have the ct results sent there prior to the appointment. Your mother in law is elderly, but she that does not mean she shouldn't get good medical care. If this is RCC, they may take part or all of her kidney out. If to hasn't spread, she will be monitored with scans and will likely be fine. I hope this helps with some of your questions. Best of luck!

Darron's picture
Darron
Posts: 284
Joined: Jun 2013

I am sorry to hear that you are having difficulties with information. A common theme you may see repeated on this site is poor communication fron a doctor. 1st let me say, I am not a doctor! I did do a little reading and found that being a complex cyst does not make it cancer. It does bring on the possibility that it is or can transform into cancer. 

The article I read indicates that a stage IV cyst can be cancerous. I am not familiar with cyst'a grading scale but do not confuse stage IV complex cyst with stage IV kidney cancer. It is a very different diagnosis. From what I read, a complex cyst brings on added risk of cancer , but also has added risk of rupture, and infection which can be a serious condition for the kidney.

My guess is that they are monitoring the cyst to see how it changes. If it is stable, they may be less likely to act given your mothers age and "other health issues". No action may be the best course if the cyst is not causing kidney function issues or pain.

My suggestion is to call and ask questions. Indicate that you were a bit shocked at the time of diagnosis and need clarification. Also, a 2nd opinion is a good idea. Ask for a copy of the CT and go to another doctor. If you do that, ask questions until you understand not only what they recommend, but why they recommend that action. Removing a kidney, full or part, is a major operation. If your mother is in poor health to start with, she may be better off with the cyst, than if she went thru surgery. Monitoring a new feature for 3 months can be a good conservative approach. It may be stable and there is not a need to jump into surgery.

Gather more information and find out why they are doing what they are doing. The more you understand, the more comfortable you will be with the diagnosis.

hope that helps!

Darron's picture
Darron
Posts: 284
Joined: Jun 2013

Adding a simple answer to my long comment. No, a complex cyst does not mean she has RCC. It can be RCC. A simple cyst is a small ball of liquid, a complex cyst is multiple and sometimes random balls of liquid and some solid parts, joined in a mass. Simple cysts are very common with age and can develop into complex cysts. And they CAN be cancerous.

Get more information from your doctor....they didn't tell you enough detail to know the situation.

 

Lynnmaw
Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2013

Thank for your reply.  The issue is, I live out of state and I had the ability to speak with her doctors, but they have lost the conscent and need her to do another one.  That would trigger much worry for her.  Her daughter is going to see if they'll talk to her next week.  My mother in law can be a bit "fretful" and with her other health issues which include emphysema, both lower lung lobes collapsed and a large hiatal hernia, they have decided not to "burden" her with the truth.  My other concern is that she's on Medicare and with her other problems they've decided that no treatment is the best option as long term the cost vs life expentancy. 

Just thinking out loud and really appreciate all your input and help.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 2061
Joined: Jan 2010

Lynn,

I think the focus of the doctors is more on cost-benefit than just cost. Each procedure such as surgery carries a risk and at some point the risk is more than the reward. There is a recent study suggesting that RCC patients over  65 with small tumors under 4 cm have better results without surgery than with it. Another words the surgery could end their life before the RCC. Then their is the issue of quakity of kife. These questions do not have yes and no answers, but must be considered with each individual patient.

Icemantoo