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Grapefruit-sized mass found - contrast CT scheduled for Monday

Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2012

So, my 44-year old DH went in for a chest x-ray due to recurrent (4+ mos) cough on Thursday. They scheduled a follow-up chest CT on Friday due to some minor atelectasis. Chest CT showed no cancer in the lung but showed a grapefruit sized mass in the vicinity of his kidney and adrenal gland. Dr. said that the mass was smooth and had clear edges and recommended a follow-up abdominal and pelvic CT scan with contrast for Monday afternoon. Dr. and radiologist said def. not fatty tumor and def. not a cyst.

I know I'm not supposed to get ahead of myself here, but it's hard not to. We have a 15 month old daughter and a son due on October 27. And he is the love of my life. I'm so scared.

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3353
Joined: Jan 2010

The good news is that the chest xray was clear. If RCC metastisises the firt place it shows up is the chest. If it is on the Kidney he will have to have it (the Kidney) removed. Been there done that as have most of the members of this club. Mine was over 10 years ago. Faye across the street from me is at 17 years and she started with metastisis on the lungs. The surgery is not fun. But it is the first step for treating RCC. If there has been no spreading beyond the kidney the surgery can be a total cure, At 10cm (size of greatfruit) there may be some further follow up treatment. Many of out members are doing fine with an initial diagnosis of stage 2, 3 and 4 RCC. Unfortunately stage 1 is 7 cm or under. At 10cm get it out ASAP. With the information you have given us it is likely that he should make a full recovery. Once he has thr CT a lot moue will be known about the tumor and your doctor should be able to give you a more accurate diagnosis. A still further diagnosis is given from the pathology repots on the tumor after it is removed. P;ease realize that those of us on this board are not doctors and are only reporting our observations and experiences. Once you have the CT, MedScanMan can help interpret it.

Best wishes,


Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2012

Thank you everyone. We hope this CT will show us that there are no issues besides the need to have surgery to remove a benign mass. (I can dream). If not, then I appreciate the support we'll have in this community. You all are greatly appreciated.

dhs1963's picture
Posts: 513
Joined: May 2012

Get the CT scan ASAP. If the mass shows up in the CT Scan, he will need surgery. Hopefully, the CT will show a smaller mass.

Second, the radical nepherectomy is major surgery. He will be out of commission for at least a few weeks, and possibly much longer (I am just getting back to work after 7 weeks). You want him back to as close as 100% when the baby comes. So, try to do the surgery in August.

The good news is, renal cell carcinoma, if caught before spreading, is cured by mostly surgery.

MedScanMan's picture
Posts: 108
Joined: Jul 2012

The lucky thing here is that the CT technologist did what he or she was supposed to do. Some are in a rush. They put the markers on the scout film at the base of the lungs and since it's a CT of the chest that's all they think they need. A decent Tech knows that a chest CT is not over until both adrenals are on the scan.....no matter how far into the abdomen you scan. In this case the right thing was done and the incidental finding was the mass. If the CT chest was done with contrast then they already have an idea of what it is. To make sure here, the CT of the Abd and Pelvis being done is going to give the Technologist a chance to measure the size (not so important here, you already know that),but the measurement of enhancement pre and post contrast and most important if it stays enhanced on what is called the delayed scan. That's usually when the Radiologist will call it an RCC. MRI would confirm it, but that's up to the Rad doing the dictation. As Icemantoo said....the best thing here is that the lungs are clear and that it was found. Imagine if there was no cough, no atelectatic findings causing the Chest CT to be ordered. So your luck here is at 100% and, I can't see any reason it won't stay at that level......can you?

Get back to us with the Abd and Pelvis report and what you don't understand, I'll try to make sense of things for you...........(as a layman of course)
Good Luck

Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2012

I was wondering how on earth they can tell from a CT whether its RCC or not. Seems like with everything else a biopsy is needed. But I read from the ACS in-depth guide on RCC that the contrast CT can pretty much give a clinical diagnosis of whether it's RCC or benign?

Anyway, we are so grateful to the cough. I can't imagine where we would have been without it. I definitely think our luck is high here. Sometimes it's hard to remember things like that!! Will keep you guys posted.


Stevewmass's picture
Posts: 37
Joined: May 2012


alice124's picture
Posts: 899
Joined: Mar 2012

Of course, you are scared as I'm sure your husband is. Please know the people and the support on this board is phenomenal and we'll get you through. You need to be strong and be there for your husband and family. The waiting is always the hardest, but if it turns out to be kidney cancer, it is not a death sentence. Amazing progress is being made in kidney cancer research and your husband has youth on his side. Our prayers are coming at you both.

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