Tumor growth before surgery

Haley4 Member Posts: 4 Member
edited April 24 in Kidney Cancer #1

Hello, although this is my first post, I've been reading all the posts here for a few months and am very happy to have found this wonderful group of people.

In September 2022, a spot was found on my right kidney during an mri series for my MS. I had a CT scan in October which showed that the spot was a 1.0 cm tumor. My urologist told me that there is a 90% chance it is RCC. I wanted to have it removed then but he said since it was so small he strongly suggested that I wait 3 months then re-scan to see if it had grown. A scan was done 3 months later in January 2023 and the tumor had in fact grown to 1.5 cm. My urologist then suggested a partial nephrectomy. I got a second opinion from another urologist and he also suggested a partial nephrectomy. I have surgery scheduled for March 29th, which was the earliest date available.

I'm a little nervous about having to wait 2 months for the surgery since the tumor grew .5 cm in just 3 months. Am I being overly concerned? Do these small tumors sometimes grow this much in such a short period of time? I guess I'm just looking for a little reassurance during the 2 month wait for surgery.

Thank you so much for any comments you may have.


  • AliceB1950
    AliceB1950 Member Posts: 219 Member

    Measurements on CTs are not super accurate, according to various doctors I've asked. It varies based on your exact positioning during the scan, how hydrated you were, the way the reading radiologist looks at things - all kinds of variables. Mine was 6.9 cm when first found in July 2018, and 7 cm at pathology after surgery in September 2018, but the surgeon says it probably didn't actually grow in that time. The pathology measurement is the only truly accurate one. The surgeon also said mine had been growing very slowly for several years.

    Good luck!

  • Haley4
    Haley4 Member Posts: 4 Member

    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. That is very comforting to know. I will put this out of my mind and just enjoy my life until surgery time!

    I hope you are doing well!

  • medic1971
    medic1971 Member Posts: 224 Member

    Hello Haley4,

    What AliceB1950 just said is correct. I've had 3 of these little boogers. The last one they watched for two years before they took it out. My second go-around started off at 5mm in 2018 then 8mm in 2019 and then in 2020 it grew to 2.5cm on CT scan. Actual tumor size was 2.2cm, but it was cystic and that's why it "grew" so quickly in one year. Even after mine hit "2.5cm" my urologist, at MD Anderson, was like, we need to get this out in the next 6 months. I had surgery 4 months later.

    A bit of free advise, if you do have surgery I would highly encourage you to start exercising. Check with your doctor first if you do not already exercise on a regular biases. In 2015 they found a small tumor on my right kidney. Four months later I had surgery. I didn't do much, expect sit around and worry. I was 43. In 2020 the new tumor, in my left kidney, was finally big enough to come out.

    Six weeks before surgery I started a pretty strenuous exercise program. I did cardio 30 to 45 min a day, 6 days a week. I also did core strengthening exercises, stretching, and mediation. I took one full day off a week to rest. All of that exercising paid off big time after surgery. I was 48 on the second go-around. I had the same surgery (other side) by the same surgeon at the same hospital. During the first surgery I was closer to my 30s and the second one I was closer to my 50s.

    You got this!

  • Haley4
    Haley4 Member Posts: 4 Member

    Oh wow, you have been through a lot! I'm glad you got past all of that and I hope you are doing well now. Thank you for sharing your story with me, medic1971. It sure helped me.

    And thank you so much for the heads up about exercising before my surgery! After reading your post, I bought me some small weights and did some research online about strengthening exercises. I will start my week off by walking and exercising more and eating healthy during this time before my surgery.

    Can't thank you enough for your help and support!

  • Grade4
    Grade4 Member Posts: 2 *

    I just had a radical nephrectomy on March 26th 2023. How did yours go for you? I only stayed in hospital for 2 days after. First day pain was rough, but supported well by the staff. I’m confident I’ll beat this and you should be too. By the way, my tumor was 11 cm at stage 2 and grade 4. Fairly aggressive. GreYou’ll be just fine.

  • Haley4
    Haley4 Member Posts: 4 Member

    Hello Grade4, so glad your surgery went well. Mine did too. I see my urologist next week for my 4 week followup. All I know right now is that my tumor was Stage 1 and my surgeon said he got it all. I'm very eager to learn what Grade it was and everything else from the pathology report. A little nervous waiting.

    Thank you for your encouraging words. Yes, we will both beat this! I wish you the best of luck and God bless.