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What kinds of follow ups do you do?

Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2019

I was wondering what kind of follow ups do you do. I'm new to this, only 1 month out of surgery. I had a partial nephrectomy to remove a 5 cm RCC off my right kidney. Initial assessment is that it was all removed with nothing outside the kidney. I will have a repeat CT scan in September  and probably yearly scans after that. Both my surgeon and my GP do not seem to think that it is necessary to go to an oncologist for any additional treatment  unless  just for peace of mind. I know everyone's experience is different, but I just wanted to know your thoughts.

Bay Area Guy's picture
Bay Area Guy
Posts: 498
Joined: Jun 2016

I have an annual CT scan and chest x-ray until five years post surgery.  My follow-up appointments are with a physician assistant at Stanford (reports to the surgeon), mainly because the scans and x-rays show that nothing has changed in my kidney area, so the docs don't need to see me.

After the five year mark, I'm going to see if my primary care physician can get me annual or bi-annual ultrasounds just to make sure everything is ok, but also to check on some other issues that have run in my family (aortal weakness and twisting intestines).

Posts: 564
Joined: Nov 2013

Hi. Do you want to know our thoughts on what was suggested to you?  I would want CT of chest, abdomen and pelvis at 6 months for 2 years, then annual for 3 more years.  After that I think an annual scan or ultrasound would be okay.  


My suggestion is based on insufficient info.  Age, family history, symptoms, type of RCC etc..  

Additionally I think it's really important to monitor lab work at  the same intervals.  Hemoglobin, and creatinine, liver function, calcium, c reactive protein  etc.  Just do a full panel.

I personally believe in going to specialists, so I think having an oncologist for at least one visit would be in order. 

Always review your own  reports.

My husband is Stage 4 so everything is very different than Stage 1, 2, 3.  I know fellow Stage 4 patients who have brain scans also on a routine basis.  My husband has chosen to not mess with his brain unless he had symptoms requiring it.

APny's picture
Posts: 1998
Joined: Mar 2014

I was stage 1, tumor 3.5 cm or something like that. For the first three years I had US of kidney and chest x-ray every six months. Then a CT scan of chest and US yearly. This is my fifth year and if CT of chest clear that'll stop and revert back to x-ray. Don't know if I can continue being monitored after 5 years but I intend to insist on it as much as I hate it. My follow up is with my surgeon who is a urologic oncologist. Many medical oncologists will not accept patients unless they have active cancer.

Madame Y
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2019

Hi Michael,

I had a partial nephrectomy in March with a removal of a 4cm Stage 1 tumor. I have been told that the follow up is six month CT scan, then 12 month for five years. Still can't quite believe any of this has happened. 

Blessedgirl94's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 2016

I had a partial 3 years ago June 7-  diagnosis ChRCC.  My tumor was 1.8cm- stage 1.


The past 2 years I had CT scans, this year my insurance denied-  I am grateful that I was stage 1, but am nervous not to be scanned 1x a year for at least 5 years?  My Dr did request.


Just curious if anyone else has ever been denied-  how should I proceed?

Thanks in advance....

daisybud's picture
Posts: 506
Joined: Jan 2016

My insurance denied at 3 years too even though dr requested it. Told me after I had ct.  I had to do self pay. I will try again at 4 years. Hopefully will pay, if not then I will have to self pay again


Bay Area Guy's picture
Bay Area Guy
Posts: 498
Joined: Jun 2016

Daisy and Blessed.....you might also want to see if your insurance would spring for an ultrasound instead of a CT.  They’re less expensive (and less radiation).  I’ve had both, and i’m not sure of the r3lative accuracy of each, but if your insurance would go for it, it would be better than no follow-up at all.

Posts: 9
Joined: Dec 2017

I just went for my 3rd CT scan last week (18 months since surgery) and was denied initially at my last scan (12 months) and again this time around.  Last one got approved finally after my doc called them, but this time they pushed back harder.  They finally approved the latest abdomen CT and chest Xray, but it sounds like they are not going to approve anything at six month intervals going forward.  

Manufred's picture
Posts: 241
Joined: May 2017


Without wanting to sound too pessimistic, you can never be sure that it wont come back, as I learned myself about 3 years after my radical nephrectomy.

In the absence of any better options being available as yet, routine CT scans would seem the least you can do. And hope the radiologists are good enough to pick up any early signs.  

Eventually they will develop a reliable blood test for cancers, but we are not there yet.

Regular scans, if the results are clear, also give you the peace of mind to get on with your life.

Best Wishes, Fred

Posts: 489
Joined: Aug 2017

No to the oncologist.. nothing they can do

yes to six months scans

kidney cancer is notoriously sneaky 

please dont go into panic mode

but I don’t understand 

you have kidney cancer 

find kidney cancer

remove kidney cancer..cured


but the only way to keep it like that is check and check..six months minimum

so I am with the mob above... we stick together

it will get easier

stay strong 


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