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Recently Diagnosed

lthhampton Member Posts: 3

I am a 35 year old female, recently diagnosed with a 4cm fluid filled malignant mass on my left kidney. I am so emotional at this point to where i don't how to think and feel about this. I feel as though this is a death sentence for me and I just don't want to deal with it at all. The urologist stated I will have to have partial neph surgery by robotic laproscopy surgery. Disturbingly- she stated it is a possible chance the cancer cells can spread just by the nature of being "cancer." I have a 12 year old and a 2 year and I don't know how i'm going to begin to accept this........


  • sblairc
    sblairc Member Posts: 585
    4cm. Not too bad.

    4cm. Cancer, yes, but small.  I understand your pain and fear. But as many here will tell you, this is  not a death sentence and many are cured with surgery alone. Your doctor might be speaking logically, but you have good data on your side to support a long life cancer free. There are many here with bigger tumors that are alive long past their surgery. You will keep most of your kidney and in all likelihood go on without cancer. Please be optimistic. Many here will share a similar perspective. 

  • icemantoo
    icemantoo Member Posts: 3,358 **
    Lucky you.


    You sound like me 14 years ago when out of the blue they tell you that you have Kidney Cancer and the first thing they do is that they want to yank your kidney out (there were no partials then) WTF

    While tumors 4cm and under can spread, that is the exception rather than the rule. You are very lucky that it was caught early.

    I predict that you will be around to welcome those grand children 20 to 30 years from now as well as being around to see them (the grandchildren) graduate fro High School.




    PS: We were all scared sh--less in the begining. That too shall pass.

  • foxhd
    foxhd Member Posts: 3,181
    edited May 2016 #4
    ask more questions

    I believe I have seen "liquid" or "fluid" filled tumors discussed before. I also believe that being fluid filled means that it is more likely a cyst. A "mass"is solid. Also if it is malignant, where are the mets? Are they liquid filled also? You need more answers before surgery.

  • aurthor
    aurthor Member Posts: 10
    I know the shock you are talking about

    I went through the same emotions 3 weeks ago when I was diagnosed with stomach cancer yeah I know it is a different type of cancer but you stilll have the same feelings. I know people can tell you not to worry and such things but it is just normal to worry. I have found that firends and family and the most important thing, THE LORD, has really helped me through this so far. I had a eco done of my heart the other day. And the lady doing it told me that a surgeon she once worked for told her that he could tell who would beat the cancer and who would'nt by thier attitude. The surgeon said that 60% of winning the battle is attitude. When you first hear the news it kind of takes you off guard. But now you need to get up and dust off and do a bunch of research on the net about cancer. I'am taking( laetrile called b17) plus other vitamins And yeah I have read a ton of stuff about B17 way more good then bad. And most of the bad comes from the folks who are on the big drug companies payroll. So for your own sake research and dont go by those stupid survival rates that where done 15 years ago God bless you and I will pray for you.

  • medic1971
    medic1971 Member Posts: 205
    edited May 2016 #6



    Sorry you are here...  I've got a few questions, how do they know this is cancer?  Also to echo what foxhd said, most cancerous tumors are solid in nature not fluid filled.  The only way to know for sure what you are dealing with is to get it under a microscope.  

    When you have time please watch this video.  It's about the best presentation I've seen about the treatment for the small renal mass.  4cm is considered a small reanl mass.  The doctor speaking is a urologist at MD Anderson.   There was another video presented by his colauge that gave me a lot of comfort and anwsered most of my questions.  


    I would also recommend getting a second opinion from a urologist who is experienced in this field.   The American Urological Association estimates the average urologist sees six cancer and non-cancer kidney tumor cases a year, find someone who sees more than 6 a year.


    I’ve got a 6 year old little girl when I was diagnosed so I know where your mind is at right now.  I had two solid masses in my right kidney.  One was 2.2cm and the other 0.8cm.  Yes it's possible that the "cancer" could have spread, it's also possible that you could get killed in a car accident tomorrow.  I've worked in healthcare for over 20 years mostly emergency medicine, as an EMT and now as an RN, and tomorrow is promised to no one. 


    Hang in there.  Take your time, ask questions, and consider a second opinion.  You have time to do your research and homework.  I waited 4 months after my CT scan to have surgery.  The survival stats you will find online are not entirely accurate.  You can add about 10 to 15 points to each stage.  The rates you see online also include people diagnosed with kidney cancer who may have later died from other causes, such as heart disease.  Does that make sense?

    Keep us in the loop and good luck :) 


  • NewDay
    NewDay Member Posts: 272
    edited May 2016 #7

    I'm going to chime in with everyone else.  PLEASE get a second opinion before you let anyone do this surgery and make sure that it is with someone who has done a LOT of robotic partial nephrectomies.  

    It won't do any good for me to tell you not to worry, but do try not to panic.  Can you tell us where you are being treated? We may be able to recommend a doctor or institution in your area that we know has experience.


  • foroughsh
    foroughsh Member Posts: 779
    Sorry you're here,  all you

    Sorry you're here,  all you need is to make sure your urologist is expert in kidney cancer because if it's malignant then an expert surgeon knows how to do the surgery to take it out with clear margin. We never know for sure if it's cancerous before the pathology report comes in so don't lose your hope and have a second opinion. A 4 cm tumor, even if it's proved to be cancerous, is  stage 1 and it's not common for such a small tumor to have spread to other organs, almost 90% of patients will be tumor-free for the rest of her/his life by just and only having neph.

    I was also 36 years old, I felt like I would be dead within few months after enduring pains. I'm here and writing for you 21 months later and needed no more treatment after my neph yet and hopefully never. It's normal to feel terrified and hopeless during first month of diagnosis but it doesn't mean all those terrible things which are in your mind are going to happen. Take a deep breath and look for best surgeon you could have and let it go


  • hardo718
    hardo718 Member Posts: 853
    That's a very scary word, Cancer

    Lots of negative connotations, but rest assured, it is NOT a death sentence.  Don't be mistaken though, it does create a terror within.  I can look at it postively now, in that I got things in order that I'd been reluctant to prior to that diagnosis.  I was 59 at the time and although my kids are grown, my thoughts were of my grandkids and missing out on those blessings.

    Mine ( Bob the Blob ) was about a cm smaller than yours and I too had the partial nephrectomy via robotics.  As others have mentioned, get a second opinion.  And by all means, watch that video that Medic Jason mentioned.  My surgery was 3+ years ago and I just watched it, it's awesome and wish I'd have seen it years ago.  It'll provide some clarity for you, not only about the mass and surgery, but recurrence rates vs mass size.  So much good information.

    Keep us posted.  I'll be praying for you,


  • lthhampton
    lthhampton Member Posts: 3
    edited May 2016 #10
    Thank You guys

    Thanks! for all the responses I have received thus far...I am most definitely starting to feel optimisitc about my future. It is healing in receiving support from people who can relate. My doctor is hesitiant on preceeding with a biopsy for risk of leakage. I was diagnosed based on the MRI in which the tumor greatly resmembled a cancerous mass. I'm at a point right now where I'm just looking forward to surgery and any other treatments necessary. I commend all of the surviors on this page. You guys are so spiritual and positive.  I can't wait to tell my story when all said and done.

  • jason.2835
    jason.2835 Member Posts: 337


    Doctors sure can be consoling and compassionate sometimes... OF COURSE cancer has the nature to spread.  You don't need 5 years of medical school to know that.  But there is one major risk factor to take into account with metastasis... TIME.  The reason large tumors are "more likely" to spread is because they have been there a while.  

    I was also 35 and my tumor also was partially cystic with solid areas.  At MRI, they pegged it at 3.8cm, but pathology put it at 2.8cm.  So there is a chance your total size can come down.  The main thing to figure is that this was certainly found early.  No doctor will ever quote you a "0%" chance of recurrence... but my doctors have told me "less than 2%."  So I'll take that.  We have long, full lives ahead of us.  

    Don't let it rule you.  Don't forget about it, but don't let it rule you.

    - Jay 

  • Footstomper
    Footstomper Member Posts: 1,237
    Been there done that still breathing

    i was diagnosed three years ago and I ain't dead yet. I remember the shock and the fear as if it was yesterday. So you're quite normal.my tumour,I call it Darth, was 10 cm some on here have had even bigger tumours. So try not to worry 

    must go . Just finished chemo

  • Jan4you
    Jan4you Member Posts: 1,330 **
    We're here for you all the

    We're here for you all the way if you want us to be next to you.  I wonder if this doctor, which I suspect is a Urologist does many of these type operations for kidney cancer? As most want a CT to get a better look. I had both a cyst and a suspected "neoplasm" and he showed me the difference.  You don't remove the Cysts but the margins on the tumor were more like cancer he said.

    You are also stage I most likely so do not spend your precious energy on worrying over things you have no control over. I have been cancer free for 2.5 years now. My tumor was about the size of yours too.

    Robatic/laproscopic is the way to go. Little incisions about an inch at the most. Yet you DO have to rest and cannot exercise for at least a month so your insides can heal up. You don't want anything to rupture.

    I also used a lumbar wrap used for bad backs found in drug store. It held in those aching abdominal muscles. I even put dry ice packs inside the wrap but not directly on the skin and that reduced any swelling where the incisions were. It helped a lot. As a result I was not on opiate pain pills for very long.

    Ask any questions, will be here for you! You're going to be okay. Just make sure you have someone to help with the kidsand tell your hubby etc you cannot overdo it even when you start to feel better.

    Hugs, Jan

  • todd121
    todd121 Member Posts: 1,448

    Thank You guys

    Thanks! for all the responses I have received thus far...I am most definitely starting to feel optimisitc about my future. It is healing in receiving support from people who can relate. My doctor is hesitiant on preceeding with a biopsy for risk of leakage. I was diagnosed based on the MRI in which the tumor greatly resmembled a cancerous mass. I'm at a point right now where I'm just looking forward to surgery and any other treatments necessary. I commend all of the surviors on this page. You guys are so spiritual and positive.  I can't wait to tell my story when all said and done.

    Second Opinion

    I have to chime in and agree with the few that encouraged you to get a second opinion. The information you're sharing doesn't make a lot of sense. Are you seeing a urologist that has a lot of experience with kidney masses? A urologic oncologist is the best specialist to see. They are specialists with extra training in kidney masses. There may be other ways to go than surgery if it can be told from the imaging if it is likely not cancer.

    Even if it is cancer, the size indicates a pretty good chance removing it will take care of it.

    Still, get another opinion if you can unless you feel confident your doc has this. I saw a urologic oncologist that was head of the urology department in a nearby medical school. I think I had top advice on my issue and don't regrety following his suggestions. Knowing what I know now, I would not be comfortable seeing a regular urologist (unless they've had lots of experience with kidney cancer).

    BTW, my urologic oncologist also did not suggest a biopsy. However, my mass was larger at 7cm and had a 90% chance of being cancer according to him by the way it looked on the CT with/without contrast.



  • robynindc
    robynindc Member Posts: 11
    This is not a death sentence!

    Greetings, and welcome to the most supportive and wonderful group of people I've found anywhere . . . 

    I started posting on this board about 2 weeks ago when I learned I had a 3.5-4cm mass on my kidney that was likely cancerous.  I had my partial nephrectomy (robotic) on Monday, and got my labs back today: confirmed renal cell carcinoma, and confirmed that margins are clear!  So about two weeks after learning that I probably had cancer, I learned I am cancer free.

    Your tumor is small, and as others have said here, highly unlikely that it has spread.  I also agree that you need a second opinion; something fluid filled is much more likely a cyst, NOT cancer (which generally presents as a solid mass).  So do some due diligence and then go after the right treatment with all you've got.  I have a 3 year old and a 5 year old, and I absolutely understand your fear.  That said, if this thing is cancer, you caught it early and you located it in a duplicative organ.  Well done!  

    Lean on this group - they are amazing.  And I'm here to join and reinforce them.  You are ok.  This will be ok.


  • Footstomper
    Footstomper Member Posts: 1,237
    edited May 2016 #16
    Well done Robyn!

    As Mr Punch says, "Thats the way to do it!" Congratulations.