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May be a dumb question

Posts: 123
Joined: Jul 2013

Is there any pattern to how this cancer metastasizes? I notice there are many here with mets to the lungs with a few to the spine.

since my husband was diagnosed with 2 mets to the spine and several scans with no cancer (of course, microspic would not show)

still trying to process this disease and he is set for a nephrectomy on 9/20; we meet with the surgeon this week and there are a lot of questions I will be asking like whether a radical surgery would be better than simply removing the kidney.

the last 2 months have been a lot of time in the hospital and he is now much weaker than when he had the spinal surgery in July plus the cyber radiation which he finished last Friday but which has left him pretty tired.

any and all information will be greatly appreciated. thanks in advance, Sarah

Eims's picture
Posts: 423
Joined: Feb 2013

hi sarah, im sorry you have to join us here but maybe some of the guys here can help with your questions and trust me if they can they will...they are a lovely bunch.  all i know is that my doc said that 1 and a half kidneys is better than 1...i know they try to save even a half if they can!!  i ended up with the radical (full) nephrectomy in the end but that is what my urlologist told me then.

eims x

Posts: 123
Joined: Jul 2013

I am pretty sure the kidney will be taken out completely; maybe I still don't have the right terminology but I was referring to removal of the adrenal glands.

when we met with the surgeon (months ago it feels although it was just one month), he discussed laparectomy as being about 80% chance but that was before I knew that more than the kidney can be removed.

my other question is whether the nodes can be seen in an MRI image; the oncologist showed us the latest he had taken (again last month) and said nodes were not involved. It seems to me that only surgery can show.

the onc also noted that since kidney cancer goes undetected in many cases, it could have been there a long time so that 2 mets to the spine could be an unagreessive cancer.

my wishful thinking is showing although I am clenched in terror. This is a lonely place to be and like the rest of family, would love to take a break. I went to visit our 9-month old granddaughter yesterday and for a few hours, it felt normal and she let me forget, even for a while. I, of course, immediately felt guilty since my husband does not get that luxury. Next month our niece gets married in Fiji and we will watch it on Skype; I want to jump on that plane but I am sure I would be miserable.

thanks,  Sarah

TillieSOK's picture
Posts: 252
Joined: Jul 2013

Sarah, I had my rt kidney removed, but he left my adrenal gland.  There was nothing wrong with it, and he saw no reason to remove it.  Why are you concerned about the possibility of his being left? If there is no indication of cancer involvement in the adrenal, it won't help anything to remove it.  From what I've read, there are many who have not had their adrenal gland removed with the kidney.  Had my tumor been a tad smaller and lower and not invading anything, I probably could have kept 1/2 of my kidney plus the gland. That's one of those maybe-coulda-shoulda-woulda-kinda-sorta's. You just keep what you can keep and continue on with what you have left.  And yes, an MRI can "see" if any lymph nodes appear to be affected...more so I think than a CT.  Someone jump in here and correct me if I'm wrong.

Posts: 123
Joined: Jul 2013

Thanks for the response; my thought was that removing anything close to the kidney might eliminate areas of metastasis.

i am also concerned at his spending days in bed; he's got 2 days of radiation to the surgical site but after 8 so far and 5 cyber radiation to the other spinal met, he is wiped out.

he's scheduled for surgery but he lost weight during the 2-week intestinal obstruction and hasn't regained it. From all I have read, his recovery from the nephrectomy will not be easy. 

This cancer is so awful and hard to track; in 1991, I had breast cancer but the areas of metastasis were known and follow-up. This cancer is so different and I need to get as much information as I can.

your post was most reassuring; he, too, has a very large mass in his kidney. Thank you. Sarah

GSRon's picture
Posts: 1306
Joined: Jan 2013

Just because there are organs near the Cancer does not really mean much.  It would be rare for Kidney Cancer to spread that way.. luckily..!  I too have both my Adrenal Glands.. and was pleased to hear it..!  Whether or not the Cancer returns, is anyone's guess.. we all hope not..  Sorry you have to wait so long to get the deed done.. but once it is over, I hope you both can breathe a lot easier, and move forward with life..! (easy for me to say.. hard to do..).

And ignore those that say we are all nice guys.. heh.. give us a chance and we may even bite..!  J/K.

Good Luck,

Ron :)

Posts: 123
Joined: Jul 2013

Ron, even though we haven't met, I will bet you are really a teddy bear.

thanks for the response about the adrenal glands and the surgery could not come soon enough; although we know it will not cure his cancer, getting it out of there will be really good. He had better gain some weight by 9/20; 

i will be requesting medicare allows an additional day in the hospital so if he does have another intestinal obstruction, he can get it treated while in the hospital. I want to avoid another nightmare. Rushing to the local ER and then being in a place where end of life patients are placed was a Kafkaesque experience.

thanks again, Sarah

Darron's picture
Posts: 291
Joined: Jun 2013

The point Mr wedge makes is that clear margins are important to help keep it from returning to the spot of surgery. If they need to take an adrenal gland, so be it. You want a clean site when they are done. They took mine completely With adrenal gland, but no lymph nodes.

since he heads mets to the spine, it has spread once. The hope is that once clean, it won't spread again. I don't have odds, but I am also stage IV and simply take the attitude that every day is a good day, don't waste them. There are tons if new therapies out there, so don't read statistics. Most statistics are 5 years old. Both drugs I am on have not been around for 5 years. If is does return, there is treatment to control and in some cases potentially cure it. There is a lot coming in the next 5years.

There can be a lot of pain and suffering worrying about tomorthere take today and make what you can out of it. Tomorrow will take care if itself. 

Hope surgery goes well, you will both be in my prayers.

Texas_wedge's picture
Posts: 2803
Joined: Nov 2011

"Just because there are organs near the Cancer does not really mean much.  It would be rare for Kidney Cancer to spread that way."

Ron, I don't know where you get some of your 'information' but you couldn't have got that much more wrong!

I take the opportunity to wish you a happy New Year and to express the hope that it's a better one for you and me (and for everyone else).

GSRon's picture
Posts: 1306
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi T.W.  this is what my Dr told me.. yes it happens.. but..   My tumor was wrapped half way around my body.. touching a couple of other organs..  I was told that through the blood suppy is the most common type of spreading, for CCRCC.  Now with other types the whole situation may be entirely different.. Please let me (and the rest) know if this is not correct.   Yes, in my Mom's case it did spread through contact, her tumor was one big mass attached to both Kidneys and Liver, colon and not sure what else., thus it was unoperable.  That was in 1980(ish) and even with lots of symtoms it took a very long time for her Dr to figure it out.  Thankfully there is a lot more info out there now.

And thanks for the new year wishes..  I just hope there is some form of a cure coming...

But what really brings me to my knees, is seeing all the young kids dealing with this crud.. it makes me cry... sigh..   Kids shouild be allowed to grow up....

Be Well All...


Posts: 123
Joined: Jul 2013

From what I have read, there are 3 paths for cancer to spread; proximity, vascular or lymph nodes. That's why I thought removing adrenal glands and lymph nodes might be good.

so your mother had this too? Is this genetic? My friend lost her brother to this in the early 90's when they did a nephrectomy without further testing and declared him cured; when, he complained of numbness and tingling, he was referred to a shrink. His symptoms continued and he was paralyzed up to his neck; he was gone in 3 months.

there has been a lot of information and treatments since then so if there is a silver lining, this is it.


Posts: 144
Joined: Jun 2013

Did someone mention biting?



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