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May I ask how your kidney cancer was detected?

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
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Comments

  • swijak
    swijak Member Posts: 13
    My symptoms
    Sudden blood (a lot) in urine followed by pain in lower left back. This uncovered a Stage 1 tumor (8-10 cm ChRcc) in left kidney. No other symptoms prior...

    Radical nephrectomy done end of December 2010.
  • lcsmithfam
    lcsmithfam Member Posts: 9
    diagnosis
    I was having over-active bladder symptoms that was no longer being controlled by medication. Family doc sent me to urologist. On the first visit he detected microscopic blood in my urine. I had been a smoker for 30 years - quit 8 years ago - and he wanted a CT scan for bladder cancer. The CT scan was negative for bladder cancer, but did show a tumor in the right kidney. I was diagnosed on July 20 and had surgery on August 30. Stage 1, class 2, clear cell. No further treatment required except close follow up. Believe me, I know how lucky I am and try to be thankful every minute of every day!!

    I am so sorry about your sister. I just can't imagine what you are going through. My sister is a retired nurse and took care of my from the diagnosis through surgery and for several weeks after surgery. She brought meals, helped my husband, and got me through every scan, test and everything! I am truly sorry for you and will say an extra prayer for you to be comforted in your loss.

    Cheryl
  • Jamie1.3cm
    Jamie1.3cm Member Posts: 188

    diagnosis
    I was having over-active bladder symptoms that was no longer being controlled by medication. Family doc sent me to urologist. On the first visit he detected microscopic blood in my urine. I had been a smoker for 30 years - quit 8 years ago - and he wanted a CT scan for bladder cancer. The CT scan was negative for bladder cancer, but did show a tumor in the right kidney. I was diagnosed on July 20 and had surgery on August 30. Stage 1, class 2, clear cell. No further treatment required except close follow up. Believe me, I know how lucky I am and try to be thankful every minute of every day!!

    I am so sorry about your sister. I just can't imagine what you are going through. My sister is a retired nurse and took care of my from the diagnosis through surgery and for several weeks after surgery. She brought meals, helped my husband, and got me through every scan, test and everything! I am truly sorry for you and will say an extra prayer for you to be comforted in your loss.

    Cheryl

    ct scan
    No symptoms at all for me. My tumor was found during a random ct scan -- ruling out an intestinal blockage related to my crohn's disease. It wasn't what we were looking for, but apparently a lot of kidney tumors are found this way.
  • MFT0421
    MFT0421 Member Posts: 5
    Mass on right kidney found
    Mass on right kidney found during CT Scan in ER for abdominal pain which was totally unrelated. Had no symptoms of kidney cancer. Turns out to be a 3 or 4 cm tumor which is RCC clear cell type. Scheduled to have partial nephrectomy end of month. Very lucky to have been found early without spread and to be able to have just a partial removal of kidney. I so sorry about your sister. My best to you.
  • Cafewoman53
    Cafewoman53 Member Posts: 735
    Found incidentally
    My kidney cancer was found when I had a pet/ct scan for ovarian cancer. What a surprise, I had no symptoms at all ! But it is out now and seems to be no spread , yea !
    I am so sorry about your sister.
    Colleen
  • Von55
    Von55 Member Posts: 57
    Hi Dottie
    I'm so sorry about your sister- that's a terrible thing to have to go through.

    As you'll see from others on this board, RCC is a quite unique cancer in that it is usually slow-growing and is most often found incidentally. Symptoms can be vague or even absent for a very long time- and the unfortunate thing is that if not detected before it spreads it doesn't have as high a cure rate as some other cancers because often chemo & radiation are ineffective against kidney cancer.
    I had few symptoms except for tiredness, polycythemia (high red blood count) and some back pain which I thought was just my lumbar arthritis playing up, and the tumour was picked up on ultrasound for a previous ulcer condition. I had an open partial nephrectomy and they found a rare benign tumour- praise God- which was almost identical to RCC. Some people report blood in the urine, flank pain, extreme tiredness, but many have no symptoms at all.

    I may have the wrong end of the stick, and please forgive me if I say the wrong thing here Dottie, but there was nothing you could have done to have helped your dear sister other than to have been there & loved her through her ordeal. It is so natural to think that if you'd been more alert you could've caught it in time, but it isn't true. I went through years of guilt & pain when my darling Dad passed away with brain cancer- I was 23yrs old & had lost my Mum suddenly 2yrs before, and in my grief I blamed myself- I should've known what was wrong! But no, it was beyond my control & eventually I found peace with it all. It didn't bring them back or stop me missing them, but it did ease the pain.
    Blessings on you,
    Von
  • recnac_grl
    recnac_grl Member Posts: 38
    Von55 said:

    Hi Dottie
    I'm so sorry about your sister- that's a terrible thing to have to go through.

    As you'll see from others on this board, RCC is a quite unique cancer in that it is usually slow-growing and is most often found incidentally. Symptoms can be vague or even absent for a very long time- and the unfortunate thing is that if not detected before it spreads it doesn't have as high a cure rate as some other cancers because often chemo & radiation are ineffective against kidney cancer.
    I had few symptoms except for tiredness, polycythemia (high red blood count) and some back pain which I thought was just my lumbar arthritis playing up, and the tumour was picked up on ultrasound for a previous ulcer condition. I had an open partial nephrectomy and they found a rare benign tumour- praise God- which was almost identical to RCC. Some people report blood in the urine, flank pain, extreme tiredness, but many have no symptoms at all.

    I may have the wrong end of the stick, and please forgive me if I say the wrong thing here Dottie, but there was nothing you could have done to have helped your dear sister other than to have been there & loved her through her ordeal. It is so natural to think that if you'd been more alert you could've caught it in time, but it isn't true. I went through years of guilt & pain when my darling Dad passed away with brain cancer- I was 23yrs old & had lost my Mum suddenly 2yrs before, and in my grief I blamed myself- I should've known what was wrong! But no, it was beyond my control & eventually I found peace with it all. It didn't bring them back or stop me missing them, but it did ease the pain.
    Blessings on you,
    Von

    thank you
    thank you for sharing your stories with me and for all of you kind thoughts. i wish all of you the very best in health and happiness. take care.
    dottie
  • lbinmsp
    lbinmsp Member Posts: 266
    Hello
    and first let me say how sorry I am about your sister. As most of us here know, this is one sneaky disease and most often, found 'looking for something else'. I had had a terrible back pain for nearly two years. This wasn't unusual as I'd had an old back injury but nothing helped. After going through massive doses of Ibuprofin, physical therapy, etc. I had an MRI that showed a 7 cm mass involving the left kidney. Had a radical nephrectomy and then one recurrence to the right lung almost 5 years later. After I was diagnosed, it seemed like I was meeting soo many people who had the same disease, all discovered accidentally.

    Be kind to yourself - I've lost two brothers to different cancers and I know it's a rough ride. God bless.
  • icemantoo
    icemantoo Member Posts: 3,358 **
    lbinmsp said:

    Hello
    and first let me say how sorry I am about your sister. As most of us here know, this is one sneaky disease and most often, found 'looking for something else'. I had had a terrible back pain for nearly two years. This wasn't unusual as I'd had an old back injury but nothing helped. After going through massive doses of Ibuprofin, physical therapy, etc. I had an MRI that showed a 7 cm mass involving the left kidney. Had a radical nephrectomy and then one recurrence to the right lung almost 5 years later. After I was diagnosed, it seemed like I was meeting soo many people who had the same disease, all discovered accidentally.

    Be kind to yourself - I've lost two brothers to different cancers and I know it's a rough ride. God bless.

    Connecting the dots
    Unfortunately GP's are not that good about detecting RCC because it masks itself as other ailments and the final detection is made when the patient finally has a CT or ultrasound which are not authorized until they are justified to your heath insurance carrier as being medically necessary. I had a pain shoot up my leg when I drove for more than 15 minutes and my GP suggested a referral to an Orthopedic Surgeon. After heavy yard work something that was supposed to be yellow turned red. My GP insisted I probably just broke a blood vessal, but referred me to a Urologist just to confirm there was no problem. The Urologist had me take a CT Scan to rule out anything serious. Well the results showed a 2.7 cm on the end of my Kidney which even I could clearly see on the CT Scan pictures. From there a referral to a Urological Oncologist who specialized in Kidney Cancer Surgery and of course on to the Nepherectomy and here I am 8 and 1/2 years later welcoming the newcomers to our club. Unfortunately some of us are diagnosed too late and there is nothing we can do except offer our prayers. Even though RCC goes undetected for years and grows very slowly a majority of the new members to our club are cured by the surgery and even where some spreading has ocurred the new drugs provide a much better outlook to those whose Cancer has spresd.
  • donna_lee
    donna_lee Member Posts: 1,018
    One more version
    So sorry about your sister. Like her, when mine was dx'd it was stage 4 and had metastasized to the liver and a set of lymph nodes. It was discovered more by accident when I saw an internist.
    To back-track, my longtime Dr. had retired and the guy who came in was pretty wishy-washy as a Dr. All I was doing was having a yearly check and ok for meds I was on. My blood pressure had slowly been going up, but nothing was said.
    Dr. Wishy-Washy moved away and the Dr. who took over his practice, and who I didn't see till the following year, ordered a urine analysis along with regular blood work. I had been very involved with planning a statewide convention for the summer prior and thought I was just worn out from going so fast. But when I saw the new Dr. I mentioned that I had had several episodes of nausea/vomiting-get it over with in 6-18 hrs. and then feel fine. So he ordered an abdominal ultrasound for what I thought might be a gall stone.
    The untrasound showed a large mass in the r. kidney, 1 or 2 masses in the left lobe of the liver; and the urinalysis showed hematuria ( I was passing blood in the urine.)
    No other aches, pains, etc.
    Hematuria definitely indicated a problem to investigate, even if they hadn't had an ultrasound.
    The nausea/vomiting episodes were caused by whatever was happening in the liver and a congenitally defective gall bladder.
    So with a big time surgery in 2006, the team remove r. kidney, L lobe of liver, gall bladder, and lymph nodes with 2/11 positive for renal cell carcinoma/clear cell.
    I have had 2 separate recurrences in single nodes, one in 2007, and another 2008, both removed with surgery.
    Lots of CT's to check on stuff, regular blood work with my internist and oncologist, on BP meds since there is only one kidney to process all the fluids I need to drink. And all my next tests coming within the next two weeks. I keep my fingers crossed and live my life, go to work, play with my grandkids, travel, garden, stay busy in the community, and stir up trouble. Emotionally, it has been difficult at times. Sometimes being a survivor is hard. But I'm glad I'm still here.
    And again, my condolences. I wish everyone who is diagnosed was a survivor. As the years go by, the chances are better than ever. When I was dx'd there were only 2 drugs available for kidney patients, and they almost killed you. Now there are at least 4 types of drugs on the market that have been thru trials and they are having success with treatment and extending life.
    Donna
  • Sasa
    Sasa Member Posts: 10
    Diagnosis
    It was found purely by accident. I was having discomfort in my right, middle section of my stomach and pelvic area. Doctor thought it was appendicitis. Turned out to be cancer. Had open, partial nephrectomy; cancerous tumor was removed <2cm. I think that the pain I was feeling was from my intestines. For years, doctor told me I had IBS, etc. But, it turns out, after CT Scan, etc., and colonoscopy, it is Diverticulitis, and if it had not been for that pain, I would NOT have been diagnosed as early as I was. I am grateful to God.

    Dottie, I can't imagine how your sister felt, because it is a very scary diagnosis, as I am sure all cancers are. And, in the late stages of most cancers not a lot can be done. The only advice I can give is: If you are continually have discomfort, whether it be sharp pains or dull pains or consistent pains or non-consistent pains, which ARE NOT NORMAL; then, go to your doctor and insist on a CT Scan w/contrast. I am sick at my stomach a lot, and I have a lot of fatigue. I do not know if this is normal or not, but like, right now, I am ready to go to sleep. And, I am at work.

    Sasa
  • dwsmithnj
    dwsmithnj Member Posts: 4
    early diagnosis
    I had been having periodic CT scans, as follow up to testicular cancer (in 1994).

    The CT in October found a small growth on my kidney. The MRI confirmed it. By the end of Novenber, I was "under the knife" having the growth removed. Determined to be Stage 3 clear cell RCC.

    Now, under the "observe" protocol -- CT scans every 3 months for next year.
  • antjeanne
    antjeanne Member Posts: 13
    Kidney stones
    i had 18 kidney stones in my other kidney, while doing scans they found a mass in my other kidney. i am thankful for my miracle. im 7 months post op.
  • trulytall
    trulytall Member Posts: 14
    hi recnac_girl: First of
    hi recnac_girl: First of all, please know that I'm sending prayers and thoughts to you and your family during your time of loss.
    Getting to the question you've asked, much like everyone else, it was just a 'fluke' that cancer was found on my left kidney. I went to the ER complaining of chest pain and a CT scan was ordered as followup, revealing the tumour on my kidney. That was in December 2010 and in January '11 I had a complete nephrectomy on my left kidney. Although I still feel like I'm whirling around, wondering what really happened to me...everything just seemed to happen so fast...I'm also so very thankful that the surgeon feels confident that the cancer was completely removed. Still a bit scared and still recovering,I pray everyday for continued good health and also for all my blessings around me.
    Take good care Dottie.
    Denise
  • jona187
    jona187 Member Posts: 71
    trulytall said:

    hi recnac_girl: First of
    hi recnac_girl: First of all, please know that I'm sending prayers and thoughts to you and your family during your time of loss.
    Getting to the question you've asked, much like everyone else, it was just a 'fluke' that cancer was found on my left kidney. I went to the ER complaining of chest pain and a CT scan was ordered as followup, revealing the tumour on my kidney. That was in December 2010 and in January '11 I had a complete nephrectomy on my left kidney. Although I still feel like I'm whirling around, wondering what really happened to me...everything just seemed to happen so fast...I'm also so very thankful that the surgeon feels confident that the cancer was completely removed. Still a bit scared and still recovering,I pray everyday for continued good health and also for all my blessings around me.
    Take good care Dottie.
    Denise

    My wife, who is 29, found
    My wife, who is 29, found out about her Chromophobe RCC during a sonogram check up for our first born child. It's been a month since our surgery (her's, but it feels like I went through it too).
  • jengen12
    jengen12 Member Posts: 18
    My dad
    My dad had a massive heart attack in November. In December he started building up fluid. Doctors at the hospital said it was due to the bypass surgery. They did a cat scan just to see his body. Found 2 massive tumors in his left kidney pushing up into his chest and he was diagnosed with stage 4 clear cell carcinoma.
  • survior2011
    survior2011 Member Posts: 2
    blood in urine
    I had blood in my urine. I woke up my husband and told him to please take me to the ER. The ER doctot look at my age 20 something and maybe its a UTI. I'm a nurse. I know it was not a UTI. I reqestedfurther testing. Wbich the ER filnially gave me. I wait three long bours for the radioloigist to confirm it look like a cancerous tumor. It was confirmed with nephrologist.
  • candoredo
    candoredo Member Posts: 44
    May I ask how your kidney cancer was detected?
    I was lucky I was getting an MRI for lungs and they just went low enough for the tumor to show up.I was refered to a urologist who sent me to the surgeon, and he is a great surgeon. I had no symptoms, nothing that would indicate a problem.
  • May I ask how your kidney cancer was detected?
    Hi Dottie,

    My name is Tony and like some of the other post here, my cancer was an incidental find during my annual check-up. My General Practitioner (GP) noticed that my creatatine level in my blood test was slightly elevated and sent me to get an Ultrasound of my kidneys.

    The results identified "spots" so my GP sent me back to get an MRI. Those films detected a 3.6 X 2.5 cm mass in the rt kidney which was diagnosed as Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC) on April 1, 2011. I had a partial nephrectomy on April 20, 2011 and I am still in my recovery time.

    I sincerely owe a debt of gratitude to my Doctor who remained pro-active and persistant enough to find the cause of the elevated creatatine levels.

    Tony
  • Malroy85
    Malroy85 Member Posts: 5
    Stage 4 Papillary RCC Type 2
    Well, one day I had A LOT of blood in my urine. It was weird. So I kept an eye on it for a few days, and kept having some. So I went to the ER. They ran blood tests and a urinalysis. They said it was a UTI. They gave me antibiotics and sent me home. It cleared up. Yay. Several months later, I saw some more, but it wasn't nearly as bad. I went to a clinic--UTI--More antibiotics. Then nothing for a year. Then, I started feeling nauseated all the time, couldn't keep food down, and started losing a lot of weight. I had some flank pain, but it was in a weird spot and would move... I went to the doctor and they did blood work. All fine. Urinalysis. Fine. PAP Smear even. Fine. I decided to deal with it and try again later. 6 months later it was getting really bad and my energy was super low. I wasn't functioning all that well and couldn't get a job. Decided to go to a different ER (I had moved back home in a different state) and they decided to run a CT scan. BAM! There it was. Ended up being Stage 4 Papillary RCC, type 2. It was hard to diagnose because I was only 25. No one, least of all ME, was expecting cancer.