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Surgery in two weeks...finally can see the end

dhs1963's picture
Posts: 512
Joined: May 2012

On May 1, I heard those dreaded words that have changed my life: the CT scan shows a 6 cm mass on your kidney. I knew what it meant. I did not know anything about Renal Cell Carcinoma then, but my assumption was it comes out immediately. Dr felt differently, and medical research supports the doctor.

This will be the first real surgery that I have had. Because of how the tumor lies within the kidney, I will have a radical nephrectomy, but laproscopically.

The funny thing is I am not sure if I was asymptomatic or not. For a while, I have been tired. Feeling drained at times in the afternoon. I was going to mention it to my Dr. I was not sure if something was wrong or it was middle age (I am 48, male). I also have pressure type pain in my right back (near my kidney). If I press against it (to rub it out like a muscle), I get a weird sensation and get very hot. I will know soon if these have anything to do with the cancer.

Going forward, the biggest concern is my other kidney: the cancer is certainly genetic, and can it start in my left kidney?

Oh, and the good thing about insurance companies is the fights with them take your mind off the cancer.

alice124's picture
Posts: 897
Joined: Mar 2012

Sorry you have to become a member of this group. You'll find a lot of answers to your many questions with this group. It's comprised of friendly, warm individuals who are always willing to lend an ear and help.

As far as the pain in your back, I believe flank pain can be a sign of kidney cancer. My husband--prior to being diagnosed--had flank pain. He likes to cook and used to spend a good amount of time standing in the kitchen. He'd finish up and sit down saying that standing on the quarry tile had resulted in lower back discomfort. (I used to think it was just an excuse for him to not help me clean up the mess he just made. But now I realize it was legitimate.)

I'm not sure I understand your question about starting in your left kidney? Kidney cancer can start in either kidney. I wasn't sure which kidney the 6 cm tumor was found.

dhs1963's picture
Posts: 512
Joined: May 2012

The cancer is in the right kidney. We will have to watch the left kidney closely to ensure nothing starts growing in it.

Posts: 58
Joined: May 2012

My Dr at MD Anderson told me that Kidney Cancer is environmental. That's the only place I have heard that however.

My regular Dr and Urologist also wanted to wait and see after another CT Scan in six months. A good friend of mine who is an Anesthesiologist at MD Anderson told me that the biggest mistake they see in cancer treatment is mis-management at first diagnosis. When my friend told me this, I made an appointment at MD Anderson, brought my scans with me and ended up having surgery two weeks later. On one of my follow-up visits, I talked with the Surgeon about why my Dr wanted to wait six months and said if I had done that, they would be chasing the cancer on my other organs, that I did the right thing in going in for the second opinion.

Take that for what it's worth, but this is what I did and am very thankful I did.


dhs1963's picture
Posts: 512
Joined: May 2012

The waiting is largely a result of scheduling than waiting to see what happens. In my case, my grandfather and father had the same cancer. It is probably genetic

sunlover_56's picture
Posts: 110
Joined: Apr 2012

I had a 7.5cm mass (cancer) on my kidney removed on April 4. When I was first dx'd they said they couldnt get me in right away do to "scheduling" also. My daughter spoke up and said if you cant get my mom in right away, please give us the name of another hospital that we can go to as we dont want to wait. Well guess what, the scheduling issue disappeared suddenly and they could fit me in within 4 days.. hmmm go figure. I was stage 2 grade 1. Glad I didnt have to wait any longer.

Raine22's picture
Posts: 33
Joined: Jun 2012

I apologize as I don't know how to send a private message! (or Iif you can). I'm in Houston and had surgery at MDA. Was wondering who your surgeon was?
Thanks, Lorraine

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