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27 Year Old Stage 2 Kidney Cancer

HopefulBeliever's picture
HopefulBeliever
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2016

Hello all,

I am active duty Army and I was diagnosed with stage 2 renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer) just three months ago, January 12th to be exact. There were no prior signs. I woke up that morning and felt a sharp pain in my left side and back followed by extreme nausea and vomiting. The result was a CT scan showing my left kidney was 3x the size of my right kidney. The doctor wasn’t certain whether it was cancer or not but based off his recommendations I thought the safe option was to remove my kidney (radical nephrectomy). Three days later my kidney was removed and about 2 days after that the doctors confirmed from the biopsy of my kidney that it was indeed cancer. It’s been a little over two months now and I am proud to say that I am cancer free as the cancer didn’t spread outside of my kidney. I was back to working out and running within a month as I felt fully recovered as if nothing even happened. Thankfully nothing spread outside of my kidney and there was no need for chemo or anything. Truly blessed!

I don’t’ smoke and only drank socially but actually quit months before getting the news. No family history kidney cancer and since surgery I had a genetics test conducted which came back negative.

I deployed to Afghanistan in 2013 but have also traveled TDY to various locations such as Bahrain, Oman, Dubai, Qatar, and Kuwait. Does anyone have any experience where being exposed to a new environment/region may have resulted in health issues? My doctors mentioned excessive exposure to fuel products could also trigger issues with kidneys. I managed Army 2500 gal fuel tanks from 2012-2014. Just curious on others experiences and what if any VA medical benefits resulted from this.

Take care everyone.

- Dom

JTS85
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2017

In March 2009, I returned from a deployment to Iraq and within 2 months was diagnosed with stage 2 renal cell carcinoma (Kidney Cancer) - right kidney.  In June 2009, I had a partial nephrectomy.  No radiation or chemo - just surgery.  Since I was on AD, I had to go through the whole process of being cleared for worldwide deployments - that processed included going through the VA system.  The VA rated me at 50% for the Kidney Cancer.

In 2011, I was diagnosd with skin cancer and in Oct 2016 I was diagnosed with Throat Cancer - Waiting on the VA to make a decision on the additional cancers.

The process is long but you should definely contact an advocate to help on your behalf.   I prefer the DAV, as my local VFW and American Legion were unprepared to help.

I retired in 2014 after 30yrs - Chief Master Sgt - Air Force.   We were definitely in the same places - Oman (2001), Qatar (2002/2003), Iraq (2003), Kuwait (2008), Iraq (2008/2009)

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