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Scared to death about CT scan and kidney mass

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2006


I just received a call from my doctor today after having a CT scan of the abdoman, and pelvis (I'm having a lumbar spine CT next week).

I have a 1.5 centimeter mass in the right kidney. I've had back and hip pain and mild dizziness for the last year and a half. At night, I have pain that is not relieved by advil or aspirin. When I visited by Primary care during that year , he never suggested CT scans (my gyno recommended these). The lab results say the 1.5 centimeter mass has heterogeneous enhancement and the CT numbers are greater than 30 hounsfield units.
Does this mean I have Cancer? I can't see the urologist until July 10th and am freaking out about this discovery. I didn't sleep at all tonight. Did anyone get nausea and burning in the stomach? My doctor has been treating me for an ulcer and I don't think it is an ulcer anymore.

dleather's picture
Posts: 11
Joined: Apr 2006

Been there Tibard. I know what you're going through. Doctors told me I had little chance of remission. But I got there. And it's been three and a half years. Mine tumor was 7 centimeters. You gotta hang tough, girl. Don't let your mind carry you away. I know its tough, mentally. But you don't even know what it is yet. May not even be cancer. It could be a lot of things. But even if it is cancer, 1.5 cm is not that big. Mine was grapefruit size and I'm still kicking three and a half years later. Hope this gives you some relief. Plus I prayed too. That helped me a lot. Good luck, girl.

You know what Tibard? You should go to one of the two chat rooms. There is tremendous support there. You don't have to reveal anything about yourself you don't want to. You don't have to give your name and if anyone asks anything you don't want to answer just tell them you don't feel comfortable divulging that info. You'll find friends there. They will support you. We've all "been there". You can access the chat rooms from the screen that comes up after you log on. Later...

lbinmsp's picture
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2006

Hi Tibard - sorry to hear that you're freaked out but that's oh so normal. Kidney cancer is a hard one to diagnose (such 'general' symptoms don't really point there initially). So CT scans, PET scans, blood work, etc. help pinpoint the problem and of course surgery is the only way to determine once and for all whether it is or isn't cancer. Remember, it's not necessarily a death sentence if it is cancer! Sounds like your tumor is quite small and that may be very good news. Hope you have a good doctor and that you have faith in him/her. Do your own research on the internet and ask lots and lots of questions. Knowledge is power! It also helps to calm the nerves a bit!

As for the stomach problems - could be the freaking out you're experiencing is creating those problems. But again - ask your doctor - ask every question you have - a good doctor will be glad that you're taking an active role in your health.

Good luck to you!

Posts: 11
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi Tibard,

Sorry to hear about your predicament. I know what you mean about freaking out, I did the same thing when I foud out. My tumor was just a little bit bigger than your. I had a partial nephrectomy in 2004. Oddly enough it was my Gastro doc who sent me for CT Scan because I was having a horrible bout of heartburn but he could not find anything when he did an endoscopy.

I know it is not easy but try and stay calm, enjoy your 4th of July. If your doc thought it was urgent you would be in to see a Urologist before the 10th.

I wish you all the best!!


Croakerjoe's picture
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2006


All of us that have been through this know just how you feel. A 1.5 mass is actually pretty small for a kidney tumor and if it does turn out to be RCC, you will most likely be stage 1 and have an excellent chance of never being bothered with it again.

Just make sure your dr.s remain vigilant after the surgery just in case. Most people say that you should be scanned at least yearly for the rest of your life.

I'd think twice if they say they "got it all" and send you home with no follow-up.

- Joe

Anonymous user (not verified)

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Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2011

Hey Tibard, how did everything turn out with the mass in your kidney.  I'm where you were right now.  I just got the call.  I've had low back pain on the left side for 4 yrs.  I also have wired burning pain in my left leg.  Ugh...nervous

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3353
Joined: Jan 2010

Dear Gone,


Your post was a question to someone who last posted almost 7 years ago. We are here to help you, but please start a new post or join in a current one.



Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2017

My husband took me into the hospital at 3am on 1/24 for typical signs of a heart attack. Even though all of my tests were normal, I was still having an enormous amount of pain in back of my left shoulder blade.  So they decided to do a CT Scan, because the Dr thought it was my gallbladder.  As I was in the CT machine, the pain in my shoulder went away.  The ER Dr told me my test results and all scans were clear.  However the nurse handed me my test results as I was leaving and said to take a look at them, so I said, "okay, thank you" and we proceeded to walk out.  Then she really scared me and said, "no, you need to look at your results."  So as I was standing there with my husband, I read over them and knew immediately the results were not normal.  The radiology report for the CT Scan read in bold printed letters, "Mass at lower cortex of right kidney, not symbolic of simple cyst, 8/10 dentsity, 1.6cm x 1.8cm in size."  Needless to say I was beyond shocked. 

A long story short, we found an great Urologist and he said it was "all contained" on outer part of the lower cortex and he is going to do a partial nephrectomy. I am actually scheduled for surgery on the 28th (two days).  I however keep going back and forth from a "partial" or actually 1/3 removal to a full. 

I have no symptoms, all my kidney functions are normal.  The Dr did say it was early stage 1. . . .

I am a mom of three boys (who are absolutely amazing) at 28, 23 and 14.  Even though they swear up and down they will never be married or have children, I would like to be around to see that for myself.  I am scared to death and barely holding it together for our 14 yr old and my husband.  

Does anyone have any advise or wisdom on whether I should go partial or full nephrectomy?   

Thanks and Blessing to you all!


todd121's picture
Posts: 1449
Joined: Dec 2012


Like Iceman said, you guys are posting a response to someone that posted here 11 years ago!

I suggest you start your own thread with exactly this same post instead of responding to a really old post. Your post doesn't have much to do with this original post.



Footstomper's picture
Posts: 1238
Joined: Dec 2014

while getting cancer is never good news. You've got the best possible bad news. Your tumour is very small and should be easily dealt with. So dont panic. I wont say dont be scared, because we all are. But it sounds like your problem will soon be dealt with.

"Does anyone have any advise or wisdom on whether I should go partial or full nephrectomy?" Yes, your doctor. 

I agree post this as the start of a new thread, you will get more help that way

stub1969's picture
Posts: 920
Joined: Jul 2016

The mass you describe is pretty small.  If your doctor is saying a partial is the way to go, then I'd encourage you to forget about overthinking this and let the professionals do their job.  With a mass this small, your chances of being cured after surgery is very, very high.  

I know exactly how you're feeling.  My mass was found in late July and I had a partial a month later.  I felt like I had been hit by a train.  I remember searching for hours on google to find answers; most of what I found was grim.  Fortunately, I stumbled across this site.  The members here literally came to my rescue and helped ease my anxiety .  Click on my name and read my journey.  I encourage you to search this site for recommendations after a nephrectomy.  You'll get quick education about the do's and don'ts along with recovery time.  Keep us posted on the surgery.



Steve.Adam's picture
Posts: 463
Joined: Oct 2016

I think you can trust your Urologist to make a good recommendation.  My right kidney was removed three weeks ago today.  I would have preferred a partial but it was not a good option for me.

Your mass is small so you have an excellent chance to remain cancer free after your nephrectomy.

Please ask any questions you want to here. You should start a new thread for new questions. (on the main Kidney Cancer page there is a link to 'Add new forum topic'.)

My radiologist's report said 'assume it is carcinoma until proven otherwise'.

Quite a shock to read.


Bay Area Guy's picture
Bay Area Guy
Posts: 516
Joined: Jun 2016

My lesion was initially measured at1.5cm in late 2013.  After monitoring it with regular scans, in April, 2016, an ultrasound indicated it was 1.8 cm, still very small, but the urologist said to have it removed.  I had a robotic assisted laparoscopic partial in June.  Since yours is similar in size, I think the urologist saying a partial is the way to go.  Best wishes for an uneventful surgery and a speedy recovery.

Allochka's picture
Posts: 969
Joined: Nov 2014


partial is ok, there is no difference in recurrence rates between partials and full for such a small mass.

You will be fine, just stay off Google! My husband had a slightly bigger mass 2 Years ago, and had a partial. His doc said there is no reason to worry about recurrence for kidney cancer that small. 

Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2018

I'm very anxious about the CT scan report. It says I have a 4.8cm complex renal cyst in the left kidney. Urologist appointment isn't until March 13. Does anyone relate to this? 

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3353
Joined: Jan 2010



This post goes back years . As for your 4.8 complex renal cyst your Urologist will teview the CT scan and make a recommendation based upom the level of complexity. Even if he suspects Kidney Cancer it is still small enough for an excellent prognosis. Fill in your CSN MY Space and start a new forum post.




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