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Confused about post Surgery Follow-ups

Dominick0711's picture
Posts: 93
Joined: Jan 2019

So I know things can be handled differently dependent on your treatment center and your individual doctor. I am being treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering and I have a urological cancer surgeon caring for me.  In our meeting post-surgery he suggested we would put together a scan schedule for 5 years, a combination of ultrasounds, chest xrays and annual MRI's if necessary starting at three month intervals. I have my first post surgical imaging appointment 4/10.  My tumor was Chromophobe 3.9cm T1A NX.  I work in a place that has a network of doctors that work with us and the top doctor is now telling me he wants me to see a renal oncologist rather then stick with my surgeon for post surgical imaging appointments.  I am so comfortable with my current doctor and have total confidence in him but I also dont want to end up being less aggressive then I should be. In my head I would much prefer to just stick with my currennt doc who is one of the top doctors in the world. I am concerned going to another doctor will cause me to regress mentally, right now I am in a great place, very positive, complete confidence in the person treating me.  I'm wondering what others experience was regarding whether or not they stuck with their surgeon or moved over to an oncologist for follow-ups.  I must say I do have other pains that originaly made me concerned about cancer spread but my doc has repeatedly assured me they are unrealted as a ton of xrays and ultraounds preceded my first appointment with him, all of which were reviewed and then he did a CT scan with contrast.  Any thoughts would be as always greatly appreciated...


APNY I know you were also at my hospital so I am particularly interested in your experience.

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3334
Joined: Jan 2010



Nothing screams out at me from your post that you need a separate renal oncologist, Some of us do that for peace of mind. One thought, ask your doctor about a chest CT instead of xray. Advantage is that it may pick up nodules in your lung which could develope into mets in the future, Disadvantage is that it picks up small nodules which are common and harmless.






stub1969's picture
Posts: 888
Joined: Jul 2016

one of the doctors on the surgical team that completed my partial nephrectomy.  I feel well cared for and have total trust in them.  Like Icemann said--follow your gut.



Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2019

I just had surgery on jan 29th.   Chromophobe 4.6cm. clear magins with no sacromotoid or necrosis.  I have a ultrasound in 3 months and Ct scan chest and abdomen at 6 months. Repeat this for the first year or two and then move on to yearly scans. 

Dominick0711's picture
Posts: 93
Joined: Jan 2019

I will discuss the chest ct scan with my doc.  This is all so helpful!  I’m so happy I found this forum!

Posts: 489
Joined: Aug 2017

what a difficult position to be in

cancer is cancer

rcc is a sneaky *******

your colleague  of course wants everything done for you..belt and braces


my Chromie mass was 4.4

my Consultant was the one who usEd the scapel on me

he was the one who saw my kidney

he cut out The tumour..

if he had any doubts  at all he would have sent me to a oncologist 

but he continues to be happy..well as happy as he can be

I agree with Iceman

what will they do now...

 am now on annual ct.after 18 months

of course now I panic about brain mets..never had a brain scan


But perhaps shift the five year to 10

sadly five years in some cancers ..kidney included is nothing...Chromie included



Bay Area Guy's picture
Bay Area Guy
Posts: 502
Joined: Jun 2016

Chromophobe, 1.7cm.  I still see the surgeon.  I was given the choice between the surgeon and the urologic oncologist I had prior to the surgery.  Both have been great with me And both are world class.  I chose the surgeon because he actually saw my innards.

APny's picture
Posts: 1998
Joined: Mar 2014

I would not change my doc from MSK. I even fly up to NY from Florida once a year for my follow ups. It would be much easier and less expensive to find a doc down here but no way would I switch. Top notch hospital, top notch doctors, you're comfortable and want to stay with him, so why switch? I'm sure your surgeon is a urologic oncolgist like mine is. Honestly, follow your instincts, not what others, including us, tell you.

Dominick0711's picture
Posts: 93
Joined: Jan 2019

Thank you guys so much!  APNY I’m definitely sticking with my doc.  im so thankful to have found this forum!  Everyone is so extremely caring supportive and helpful!

ImNotDeadYet's picture
Posts: 244
Joined: Apr 2017

I had an amazing surgeon. He was a urologist, and I could not have asked for a better person to do my surgery. However  urologic oncologists specialize in cancers like ours. If I had a choice between a regular oncologist and one who specializes in urologic oncology, I'd pick the expert in my type of cancer. My surgeon was an expert at diagnosing and removing my tumor and kidney. My oncologist and care team deal with urologic cancers all day, every day. My surgeon had basic knowledge of kidney cancer, but that was not his area of expertise in urology. You're fortunate to already be at MSK. There are people on these boards who are treated there as well, and as I understand, they have outstanding urologic oncologists on staff. I'dstrongly consider looking into it at the very least. 

Dominick0711's picture
Posts: 93
Joined: Jan 2019

At this point I have confidence in my doctor and I want to stick with him.  I’m not sure I fully understand the nuisance yet to this but he is listed as a urologic surgeon who specializes in treating people with bladderc kidney and testicular cancer.  He is also listed as a urologic oncologist.  He wants to put me on a schedule for imaging which seems to be consistent with what everyone else is getting who has something similar to what i have and bottom line is he has my full confidence.  I’m not the type who will do well if two different doctors are saying even slightly different things. My gut tells me that will be bad for me mentally.  I’m positive right now and want to stay that way.  But maybe down the road I’ll change my mind.  I have colleagues who are at Sloan with kidney cancer and they are all stil with their surgeons years out and pleased with their care. We are all 9/11 related cases

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