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Spine mets?

Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2017

hello everyone,

i am new here and am awaiting my appointment with my surgeon, scheduled for Monday, for a 1.1 cm solid lesion of my right kidney.  This was found incidentally 6 months ago when I had an MRI for back pain.  My doctor failed to mention the kidney finding 6 months ago (grr) and only ordered a Ct scan last week after I picked up my records and read that the radiologist had recommended follow up 6 months ago.  Now that I've had my Ct scan, my report reads that a 5 mm sclerotic lesion was also found on my L5.  This was not there 6 months ago.  Could this be metastasis?  Everything I'm reading indicates spine mets from the kidney are usually lytic, not sclerotic or bone forming.  Has anyone done any research on spine mets of renal cancer?  Thank you.

Jan4you's picture
Posts: 1327
Joined: Oct 2013

I can appreciate how confusing and concerned you must be, Sk7anne. I am sorry for what you are going through. There seems to be more than one indiction of what causes a sclerotic lesion. Also you don't know yet if your 1.1 cm lesion is renal cancer yet. i know, waiting must be so hard right now.

From the little that I know, radiation is most often used, but do not quote me. Others here may know more. Just know that IF you have cancer it is treatable. And a 1.1 cm lesion IF it is renal cancer is very small and in the stage I category, most likely.

But you have every right to be concerned so we're here for you. We'll be here for you all the way! Also, you may want to post on Smartpatients.com as they may have more responses too.

Let us know how your appointment goes on Monday. You will be in my thoughts and I extend my support best I can!

Sending you a healing hug,



Jan4you's picture
Posts: 1327
Joined: Oct 2013

Meant to say I believe that radiation is the treatment for spinal lesions, after a biopsy.  Surgery, IF you have renal cancer, is either partial or radical (kidney is removed) is treatment for Renal cancer.

Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2017

Thank you for your encouragement!  Making a natural- born researcher wait for an appointment means I'm walking into my Monday appointment with much information and many questions.  I was told by the radiologist that there is a 90% or better chance the lesion on my kidney is malignant, hence the research and questions.  I'll let you know what I find out after Monday's appointment.  Thank you again for the encouragement- I'm glad I found this site and I just put a request in at smartpatient too!

Posts: 19
Joined: Jan 2017

Synchronous metastasis is very unusual for such small renal mass, and if the sclerotic lesion were due to the renal mass, you would likely to see the primary renal mass grow at least 5mm in size as well...was there any growth noted on the 2nd CT?

Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2017

Yes, I know that would be unusual.  The kidney mass seems to have grown very slightly from 9mm 6months ago to 1.1 cm at the present time.  The MRI 6 months ago was for back pain and there was no evidence of any lesion 6 months ago.  The sclerotic lesion on L5 is small but surprising.

foxhd's picture
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

then we can have some reference point. If you are over 50, it could be an old healed compression fx.

medic1971's picture
Posts: 205
Joined: Sep 2015

Hello Sk7anne,

First off sorry you are here, but glad you found us.  

I think it's extremely unlikely that your mass has spread to your spine.  That sclerotic lesion is probably nothing and it may not even be new.  There is almost an art to looking at imaging, an art grounded in science.  A case in point.  My first CT Scan done in July of 2015 was looked at by two radiologists and two urologists not one of them said anything about my sclerotic lesion until after my 3rd CT scan "2 cm sclerotic lesion in the left medial ilium (image 191, series 5) appears unchanged since 07/20/2015 and nonspecific.”  So I had this on my original CT scan and no said anything about it until my last scan.  Keep in mind that two of the four doctors that looked at my films work at MD Anderson and they didn't care about that sclerotic lesion so I guess I won’t either. 

As far as the 1.1cm mass on your kidney, well that may be something that needs to come out.  I saw you posted that there was a 3mm size difference between the two sets on images.  That may or may not be tumor growth but rather where the CT scan slices landed.  I hope that makes sense.  I know there’s a CT tech on the forums and she may explain it better than I did.

When you get time check out my bio.  There is a link to a video that explains the management of the small renal mass.  It's a good video and help give you comfort.     


Keep us posted and good luck. 

Allochka's picture
Posts: 958
Joined: Nov 2014

I agree with Medic - possibly sclerotic lesion been there before, simply not mentioned in report as obviously benign. My husband had liver cysts and renal angiomyolipoma not described on first CT ( however present there). They were not mentioned due to harmless nature

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