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Newly diagnosed with kidney cancer

Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2010

My husband, who is computer illiterate (haha), was just diagnosed with a tumor that is
13 x 12 x 7 cm in his left kidney. He had a kidney biopsy yesterday, and I was told that in all reality that this is cancer. He is scheduled this next Monday, 9/20, for left radical nephrectomy. I guess the just not knowing is the worst right now. He had open heart surgery a year ago with four-vessel bypass grafts. He began a few months ago complaining of pain around his ribs on the left side. Everyone kept telling it was just because of the cardiac bypass surgery and where the drainage tube had been. Then his legs started hurting and were always cold. He had an MRA the end of August and received a call to see our family doctor a few days later and was then sent to a urologist. He has had CT scans of the chest, abdomen and pelvis plus the kidney biopsy and the scheduling of surgery. The tumor is so large, and we are so afraid of metastasis and will definitely find out next week. From what I have read, kidney cancer does not respond well to chemo or radiation therapy. I guess we are just so afraid, not knowing really what to expect. I guess I just wanted to "talk" to someone who is going through this.

Posts: 40
Joined: May 2010

Stay strong for your husband and try not to worry about "what could be" and focus on getting through the "what is". I know that is easier said than done. About a year ago my mom was diagnosed with kidney cancer. She had a radical nephrectomy of her left kidney. They underestimated the size of her tumor and by the time they got it out it was about the size of a football (including the adrenal gland). She had it done laproscopic and they ended up having to make a small incision to get it out but nothing like the incision the first doctor she saw was talking about. She had a clean report at 6 months out and goes back in a month for her 1 year check. So far so good. There is a book that I ordered free from the Cleveland Clinic that talks all about Kidney cancer. I would highly recommend ordering it if it is still available. It was very informative. I know you want to be prepared for anything but just get through the surgery and see what they find. It's easy to think about all the negative things that could happen but just try to stay upbeat for your husband. In all I've had 3 immediate family members deal with cancer and 2 of them actually had cancer and 1 didn't so I know how easy it is to think about the "what if's".

Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2010

Thank you for the information. He had surgery on Monday. We still don't have the official pathology report, but the doctor said the cancer appeared to be isolated to the kidney. He had a radical nephrectomy with removal of a rib. The cancer had almost completely replaced the kidney and was the size of a cantaloup. He has done amazingly well following the surgery. I will check into ordering the book from the Cleveland Clinic. He goes back to the doctor next week to have the staples removed and will find out the plan of treatment. His doctor is one of the best doctors in our area, but we practically have to pry information out of him.

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Posts: 32
Joined: Apr 2006

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lbinmsp's picture
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2006

I'm sorry you're going through this - no way of soft-peddling it - it sucks! I'm an RCC survivor (original in 2001 with mets 4 years ago) and all anyone can do is take one day - just one day - and see where it takes you. I always tell my doctor ' I'm fine and will be fine until and unless the fat lady sings ' (meaning getting a final path report that says otherwise). AND even then, you just take one day. I've learned that if I project out very far, I can scare myself and get a little crazy. With or without cancer, all any of us has is this one day - until we open our eyes tomorrow - then we've got that one day.

Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2010

I was diagnosed with RCC of right kidney in 2009.
I underwent Radiofrequency Ablation June 5, 2009. My
husband had prostate cancer surgery just one month
prior to my ablation. Yes, both of us at the same time.
It has been brutal, but I pray alot. My tumor was only
2cm contained in kidney, no spreading to other organs.
I have had four stable CT's since then. My husband so far
is doing well. I will have my fifth CT in November (2010).
It is easier said then done, but I try to take one day at
a time and not worry about what if until they tell me
different. It is VERY, VERY hard. I have other multiple
health problems which complicate my thoughts. Every day I
look around and see people that are much more worse off then
I am.

I just turned 67 and, by the Grace of God, would like many
more years. Every day I pray for everyone that is sick,
young or old, and pray we all will be "Victors" with this
disease. When you read comments
from others that have had or currently have kidney cancer,
you know you're not alone.

My urologist said my tumor was just 2 cm, Stage 1. The tumor
was found by incident. He ordered a CT for another issue that
he was treating me for. Many tumors are found that way. I thank
God for every day,and for others battling this disease that
they have strength and courage. I don't have a supportive family,
and feel very much alone. Without this network, I don't know
what I would do.

All of you that are fighting this battle, "Never, Never Give UP".
"The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow".

In Radiofrequency Ablation for kidney tumors, they are finding it
to be a very effective way to kill the cancer. If anyone in this
Network has had RFA, I would be interested in knowing more about it.
I do know if the cancer returned, I would probably have a nephrectomy.
I do feel optimistic about RFA, but would like to know more from
anyone who has also had RFA. It has been 16 months now since my

Anyone that reads this comment, thank you.


icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3334
Joined: Jan 2010


RFA was not available when I had my surgery on 8.1.02. From the little I have read it is limited to tumors under 4 cm. In any event you are lucky to become a survivor w/o the surgery.


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