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Back to back surgeries

punster
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2018

Hi Folks - I'm a 41 year old male, who recently found out that I have a leaky heart valve (mitral) and needed to undergo mitral valve repair to fix my severe regurgitation. The surgery for that is scheduled for next week (3rd May) and as part of the pre-op workup, a CT of the chest revealed the presence of a 4.8cm tumor on the right kidney. The CT indicates the tumor is contained to the kidney, though in a complicated location (resting on the renal artery / vein). 

My challenge is that both the heart and urologic surgeons concur that the heart valve surgery is more important due to the potential risks of endocarditis. The recommended minimum wait time for the renal surgery is 3 months away (August at the earliest), to give the heart the time to heal back. 

I want this thing out of me as soon as possible and it's going to be a long three months! Should I be worried about growth or metastasizing in this waiting period? 

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 3227
Joined: Jan 2010

---the 2 surgeons took that into consideration in concuring in their opinions. Generally kidney tumors grow alowly.. In retospect the heart problem may have saved your life by finding the kidney tumor while it was relatively small and a lot more than 3 months before it otherwise be found.

 

 

icemantoo

punster
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2018

Yes, in the few days I'm absorbing this information, I am also counting my blessings that this heart issue lead to the discovery of the kidney cancer. 

Not sure if there are studies / experiences out there which show normal rates of growth? I've heard the average tumor grows at 3-5mm/year, but have read some stories which say otherwise. Not sure if they're the norm or is 3-5mm/year the normal number. 

punster
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2018

Yes, I definitely count my blessings because I would've never found this tumor if it hadn't been for the heart trouble :) As my wife said yesterday - we should say "Why me" for all the good things, not just the bad things in our lives!

Wehavenotimeatall
Posts: 479
Joined: Aug 2017

yes most stats say 5mm to 1 cm per year

In your case the cancer will have to come second but I agree .. yesterday is too soon in my opinion..the faster it is out the better

Boy you have a handle full of worry

In the Uk many people wait three months as  you have to join the queue  so don’t get too focused on the wait

its a shame they can’t do both at once... was that ever a option

Annie

stub1969's picture
stub1969
Posts: 800
Joined: Jul 2016

the dilemma you face--well kind of.  My kidney cancer was found while monitoring kidney stones.  In the pre-op scans a little blip showed in my neck (thyroid) that could be a new cancer or metastic activity.  Doctors decided the priority was taking care of the kidney mass then dealing with the thyroid.  So, I had surgery on a Friday, discharged on Saturday, then a drive back to the hospital on Monday for a biopsy.  Thankfully it was not metastic activity but another primary cancer that required a full thyroidectomy.  That surgery took place almost exactly a month after my partial nephrectomy.  I still have a hard time believing I had two primary cancers growing in my body that I was totoally unaware of.  

I know your situation is a little different, but both do require surgery.  Trust your doctors.  They do have your best interest at "heart" (no pun intended).

Good luck!

Stub

foroughsh's picture
foroughsh
Posts: 775
Joined: Oct 2014

Renal tumors grow very slowly, don't worry for three months wait. 

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

manage your heart issue first. Follow up scans might suggest removal of tumor later. They may suggest a tki to stabilize or shrink the tumor until your cardiac status is ready for another procedure

punster
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2018

Thanks Fox! My other concern re: this is that I've only seen the urologic surgeons for this and not an oncologist. Should I be trying to validate the opinions of the surgeons against that of an oncologist who might recommend managing the tumor in the waiting period? Or am I needlessly worry about this 3 month wait?

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

see an oncologist. That is who would order the drugs to stabilize the tumor. The cardiologist and oncologist need to consult.

Allochka's picture
Allochka
Posts: 874
Joined: Nov 2014

I'm with others on surgeries' priority - heart first, then kidney. 3 month wait for kidney cancer of that size  is not life threatening.

 

Good luck with both surgeries!

Alla

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