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CT Scan Results on Kidney Cyst

Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2017

About 2 weeks ago I was having some severe left lower abdomen pain.  I researched pancreatitis, appendicitis, and gallbladder.  I have been a diabetic since I was about 13, now 48.  So the pain in my lower right side hurt to even breathe, or turn/twist, laugh, or cough.  Oh and back has been killing me.  It finally subsided after a few days and I had an ultrasound done last Friday 9/22.

The results seem like they are nothing.  There are no gallstones, which I was convinced after my researching that I had gallstones and was having a gallbladder attack.

What did get documented on the report was:  "Incidental note is made of right lower renal exophytic hypoechoic lesion with some acoustic enhancement, however not well evaluation 2.7 x 1.8 x 2.1cm.  Patient had tenderness over this area.  2.7cm right lower renal exophytic lesion, which may be complex cyst, limited in evaluation."

My fiance is freaking out.  I'm trying to explain that its a stupid cyst, he says I have to follow up with more testing because I'm making it like its nothing.  I know our bodies are laden with cysts we dont even know about.  I've had a rough year, diabetes is caused high blood pressure and I have had 2 heart attacks from High blood pressure. 

I am trying to keep my fiance from worrying, Im tired of being a problem and having diabetes, oh and I lost my hearing when I was 19 to diabetes.  I am just really done with health issues, so this just has to be a stupid cyst and nothing to worry about.


Jen T
Posts: 20
Joined: Jun 2017

Although kidney cysts are pretty common, it would be wise to have a urologist take a look. A complex cyst of that size could or could not be cancer. The best way to know is to consult a urologist. I had a 3.6 cm solid mass that was found incidentally kinda like yours. It did turn out to be cancer. At the same time, I also had a 1.4 cm "mildly complex cyst" that the Dr thinks is noncancerous but he's going to watch it by having me get periodic CT scans. The thing is if it does turn out to be something serious, catching it under 4 or 5cm is your best bet rather than ignoring it and letting it get big enough to cause more advanced disease. 

Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2017

Thank you, Jen.  I'm sorry to hear about your experience with the cancer. Since I found this website and made my post yesterday I did a lot of reading of other people's experience here.  I have worked in the healthcare industry as a non clinician for over 25 years so I do know better than to ignore this.  In fact after reading so many people's and your advice I have been pretty scared.  This is similar to the time I walked out of the ER against Medical Advice after my first heart attack because I was in denial, HA at 44 no way, something must be wrong.  Since the age of 18 I have been to so many doctors trying to find out why I lost my hearing, amongst all other health problems I have had.  I just read a back CT report from 2011 where they saw a kidney stone in my left kidney but that was the absolute first I had ever seen or heard about it.  Seems kind of stupid to not let me know about that when Im seeing a spinal specialist for back pain huh?  It really made me angry that no one told me.  But this time its the right kidney, I have a dr appt on the 16th with my PCP and she will refer me to a urologist.  

What scares me now is that they only did the US on my right upper abdomen because I asked them to check out my gallbladder bc I was in so much pain.  I had to convince my dr to order the scan, finally after telling me the entire visit that it was indigestion or I strained myself he examined me and when I would flinch and describe the pain he ordered that US fast.  

I guess my next step is to request a CT of my entire abdomen so they can check out both kidneys.  



Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2017

I just heard back from my Dr.  She has ordered me a CT scan of my kidneys for next week.  She said she doubts its anything to worry about.  I'm sure she's right but gonna follow through it all and not take any chances.  My grandmother had colon cancer and her insides were just ate up with it then they did surgery, she passed away after surgery in the hospital.

Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2017

I dont know what to make of this.  My doctors dont seem to take this as a serious problem like I have read here on the boards.  

My Ultrasound showed a cyst/lesion on my kidney so had a CT done on Wednesday and those results are:

Right exophytic 2.7 cm renal lesion is probable cyst, limited
characterization on noncontrast exam. Follow-up ultrasound in 6
months would be helpful in demonstrating stability.

Doctor said its reassuring and we will just follow up with another ultrasound in 6 months.  I honestly do not know what to make of this other than "its just a stupid cyst"?

From what I have been reading here and other places on these kidney cysts seems like this thing needs to come out, but from what I am getting from my doctors, it seems like its no big deal and I'm being a hypochondriat.

Thanks for any suggestions/information.



Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2017

"Probable cyst" is "good news" BUT a CT with contrast is best to diagnose or eliminate cancer. I had Ct without contrast at first but my lesion looked suspicious for cancer. Doesn't sound like yours does. Tell your doc you're uncomfortable with the "probable" and want to know for sure. Be your own advocate. Push for the CT with contrast so you will know for sure. To me 6 mos is too long to wait and the redo an ultrasound which won't diagnose anyway. I hope you are just concerned for nothing (but better to know for sure) good luck 

Bay Area Guy's picture
Bay Area Guy
Posts: 514
Joined: Jun 2016

Hi Daphster.  I will echo the thought to get a good urologist and the likely result of that will be a recommendation to get a CT with contrast.  As for the possible cyst, please also know that the standard of care in small masses is to monitor it over time to see if it grows.    I was diagnosed in late 2013 with a 1.5cm lesion on my right kidney.  I was referred to a urologist at Stanford and he recommended the wait and see approach, although he di tell me that if I felt uncomfortable having it in me, he could take it out.  I chose the monitoring approach.  He explained that even if it turned out to be cancer (which it did turn out to be), masses of this size grow very slowly and rarely spread, so I would be safe in waiting.  In fact, it wasn't until June, 2016 that I had it removed, and that was after an ultrasound determined that the little bugger had grown to 1.8cm.  Mine turned out to be chromophobe renal cell carcinoma.  It's a cancer that is slow growing, rarely spreads and rarely returns.  Two scans subsequent to the operation (which was a robotic assisted partial) have shown no evidence of disease (the infamous Uncle NED everyone here wants to hear from every six months to a year).

Best wishes that all you have is a stupid cyst!  I got plenty of them too!

Posts: 29
Joined: Sep 2009

I walked around with RCC for 5 years before I started having symptoms! They found a (typical) cyst on my Kidney, oh the Doc said nothing to worry about! Didn't even recommend a follow up. Started having pain 5 years later and low and behold Kidney cancer. Needless to say I was a little pissed, but it was partly my fault for not being more concerned. Go to a spacialist who deals with Kidney cancer and get your next follow up! BTW ultrasounds SUCK! MRI is the way to go, almost looks like a photo of your insides. Lickily I am still around 7 years later!

Angie1496's picture
Posts: 154
Joined: Sep 2017

There is someone else on this forum that also had a cyst for years but recently it was found to have been "hiding" an RCC mass behind it so the mass was not seen until it got bigger than the cyst.   I can't remember who it is right now.  Its better to be safe now than sorry later.  

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