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Husband diagnosed with 6 cm kidney cancer

Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2018

I'm still kinda shaken. Husband was diagnosed tonight with a 6cm solid mass kidney cancer by our family doctor. He is sending him to a specialist to have his kidney removed.the test showed everything was clean around it and it is still in kidney.my question is is this very far advanced and does this sound promising ? Thank you in advanced

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3331
Joined: Jan 2010



There are many who start out with more baggage and do fine. Mine was a little over 4 cm when it was discovered in April, 2002 and I have been fine since then. With a bit of good fortune the surgery will be the end of it except for surveillance. The surgery is not fun, but been there and done that and it beats the alternative. Like you we were all scared in the begining,




Tapman63's picture
Posts: 137
Joined: Dec 2017

If the cancer is confined to the kidney with no spread, things should be fine. As Icemantoo said, in that case they will take the kidney and all that will be needed are follow up scans for a few years.  The first week or so after surgery can be a little tough, but not as bad as you may think.  After that, things get better quickly.  Right now the waiting and anxiety are by far the worst parts.  Try not to let your husband's (or your) mind dwell too much or start thinking of worse-case scenarios.  Visit this board and read the posts - they will make you feel better.  And if you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to ask.  We've all been there.

Best wishes to your hubby for an easy surgery an a full recovery.


hardo718's picture
Posts: 853
Joined: Jan 2016

Best wishes with the referral and keep us posted.  Just a couple of questions to ask of the specialist: 

how often does he/she perform this surgery?   Is it necessary to remove the whole kidney?  (many docs are proficient in doing a robotic and only need to do a partial nephrectomy but this is dependant on location of the tumor & some other factors, but it's good to ask)

Sounds like it was caught fairly early so time is on your side and if you aren't comfortable with the referral, for any reason, ask for a second opinion. 

Prayers for you both,



Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2018

This is the best site to learn about and receive support for this challenge.  I have been a “fly on the wall” here just reading.  So I must start by saying Thank you to all on here that offered wisdom, experience, comfort and support.  Again- Thanks!

I am currently in sixth week post op.  The last three weeks I have been doing yard work, gardening, and digging holes in the Texas Hill Country. Which  translates into moving rocks and boulders around. My  tumor was 6cm when discovered and 7cm when removed 50 days later. It was located in the “second hardest location to be removed”.  First Dr. was going to use laperscoptic and remove all of the kidney. A small price considering. 

Y‘all must get the right second opinion.  I’m thankful I did.  I can not say enough about Dr Pop....... at MD Anderson in Houston and Katy. My surgeon used Robotics and felt he could save half of the kidney.  He was able to leave 65% of the kidney. 

Make sure your husband gets on this site and at least reads others questions and responses. Do your research on the three types of surgeries and  the workings of kidney.  And be patient with those that  the will respond with “oh you only need one kidney”.  They lack the true awareness that it is still cancer.  Your husband is going to be fine.

I’m happy to answer any questions either of you my have.  

I’m off to get amother truck load of mulch before I return to work tomorrow.  

Good luck



Retcenturion's picture
Posts: 240
Joined: Mar 2017

It's good that the tumor was caught early. As other's have posted now is the time to prep and research. This site will give you answers to almost any question you'll think of before and after surgery. As the patient I knew that I was going to get great care through the surgery and afterwards. We had a great network that helped us a lot. People will offer help... take them up on it. Personally.. I think it was worse for the caregivers than the patient.. Take a breath,try and relax, and sending positive thoughts to you.

Posts: 143
Joined: Jan 2017

In January of 2017, my husband was diagnosed one night with a 6cm tumor in his kidney just like your husband.  Trust me, I understand your fear and if you every want to talk about anything at all, please don't hesitate to contact me.

todd121's picture
Posts: 1449
Joined: Dec 2012

Right now you don't have enough information for an accurate prognosis. 7cm is the cutoff between Stage 1 and Stage 2. However, they size estimate on imaging is not 100% accurate. You'll know more after you get back the pathology. After they remove the kidney, they are going to slice it into tiny slices and look at it under the microscope. The pathologist will give the accurate measurements and also give a type of cancer (if it is cancer, btw, some 5-10% of these masses are not cancer). The types are clear cell RCC (the most common) and then some others (less common). They also will give a grade like 1-4. The higher the number, the more aggressive that type of cancer is known to be. They will see if the tumor grew into any veins or arteries.

If you google around online you can find all the staging information. But really you don't need to worry about any of this. You just need to wait until you get the pathology report and then discuss it with your doctor. If it turns out to be a more serious tumor, you might want to get a consultation with a medical oncologist that specializes in RCC. If it turns out to be less aggressive and Stage 1, you might want to just stick with your urologist for followup.

Educate yourself. Don't worry. The odds are on the side of it being Stage 1 and maybe Grade 2. There's a small chance it's not cancer. There's a small chance it's a higher grade or Stage 3. That information will help you and your doctor decide how often you have followups and what types.

It's not a death sentence. Even in the worst case it's not a death sentence. But you still have to take care of it, educate yourself, find the best doctors you can find. You need to take it seriously.

Mine was about that size. I was told it was Stage 1 based on imaging, but when they got it out and looked under the microscope, it had infiltrated some veins. So it was Stage 3 and Grade 3 (somewhat aggressive). I got good followups and 2 years later they found a tumor in the adrenal gland that had been attached. That made me Stage 4. They removed the adrenal gland, and I've been cancer free for over 3 years now and my prognosis is better each year that it won't come back. The first year the doc said my chance was about 66%. Now he's saying more like 10%.

Hope this helps! And best of luck you to two.


Devastated Wife's picture
Devastated Wife
Posts: 52
Joined: Apr 2018

Hi Todd121 - did you ever receive chemo?  My husband is PT3 and is choosing **not** to receive chemotherapy.  Your cancer sounds a little similar to my husband's in that his tumor was 5 cm and is PT3-high grade.  Your tumor size was similar to his and the fact you are both Stage 3.   You make me feel optimistic because you seem to be doing really well and I think you have not had chemo.  Saying that I am fearful for my husband is an understatment.  I worry about him all the time and what the future will bring.  

His kidney, ureter and adrenal gland was removed on February 14, 2018.  He is doing extrememly well now.  In fact, he is out playing golf right now (April 13).

Here's a copy of his pathology report.  Anything good or bad you can tell me about this is welcome by anyone.  In fact, if you have a crystal ball (ha ha) and could look into the future and could just tell me anything that would be great!   Thank you.

Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2018

Is it normal to send them to a urinologist instead of an oncologist. It's 6.4 now and they said the surgeon couldn't even see him till may 7th.

Manufred's picture
Posts: 241
Joined: May 2017



I was diagnosed with a 6.5cm tumour on my left kidney in June 2012, and had the kidney taken out in August 2012.   We thought that was the end of it, and hopefully for your husband it will be, but be prepared for the eventuality of it having spread already or spreading during surgery.  They wont know for sure until much later, so you need follow-up scans (6 monthly is good).  I was found to have mRCC 30 months later, with a maximum five year survival prediction.

Luckily I was accepted into a clinical trial and am now free from tumours (as far as I, my oncologist and the radiologist can possibly know).  My entire story is on my profile page.

Kidney cancer is daunting but no longer necessarily fatal.  Keep positive and best wishes to both of you as you travel down this journey.

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3331
Joined: Jan 2010




Most kidney cancer surgeries are done by Urologists specialy trained above being just a Urologist. At 6.4 cm talk to your GP or whoever you can about getting the appointment with the surgeon and getting the surgery moved closer up. The fact that it went from 6 to 6.4 cm may or may not be of significance. Two different tests may show 2 different sizes. A CT is likely more accurate than an Ultrasound. 4 mm is a very small difference in measurement on these tests. An Oncologist is typically consulted after the surgery and there is a pathology report on the tumor. I waited some 2 months from the Urologist appt after diagnosis to surgery, but with a smaller tumor.



steelr66's picture
Posts: 23
Joined: Mar 2018

Welcome. You will find so many caring people here. I just had my surgery on April 3rd. Healing up nicely thus far. One of the best pieces of info i receieved after my first post was, "Stay away from Dr. Google." Best wishes.

foroughsh's picture
Posts: 779
Joined: Oct 2014


I wanted to reply your post and give some info but Todd is already given yiu a complete informative reply. So nothing is left to add, just good to mention mine was 10 cm, grade two, stage two rcc, I was diagnosed more than 3 1/2 years ago and I'm cancer free since then.

Be hopefull

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