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Scared - Could Someone Look At My CT Scan Please?

MollyMarie64
Posts: 8
Joined: Dec 2020

Hello,

I am a bit scared. If possible, I would love anyone's input regarding my CT Scan.  I would truly 
appreciate it!

CT scan in August 2021: A paritally exophytic structure at the upper pole.  The right kidney is higher
attenuation than a simple cyst and measures up to 1 cm.  This was previously present and measured
up to 0.9 (March of 2020). 

Sadly, I went to the ER in March of 2020 for abdominal pain and had a CT scan.  They found a 1.4 cm
nodule on my right adrenal gland. The ER doctor NEVER mentioned the kidney lesion.  Ugh!  When I 
went for the CT scan this month to check for growth of the adrenal gland nodule, the kidney lesion
grew and was then brought to my attention for the first time.  They now want to do an MRI with and
without contrast to try to figure out if the lesion is benign or malignant.

I am 57 years old.  The only symptom I have is fatigue, but that could be caused by a gazillion things. 
The only worrisome issues with my blood test, were high calcium and high adjusted calcium which 
I've never had before.  I've read that could be due to kidney issues or cancer (Google is scary).  

Does this sound like it could possibly be kidney cancer?  Would an MRI be the next best step in
diagnosing what the lesion is?  

Thank you for your help!!!


misterace
Posts: 31
Joined: Jun 2020

I apologize if I am misinterpreting, but is it saying that it went from 0.9cm to 1cm, and it's likely to be a cyst?

If that's the case, it's likely it has not grown at all. Though our medicine is very advanced, differentiating between .1cm is really a margin of error thing. It's very likley it didn't grow at all. 

Moreover, the fact that they think it's a cyst, I think is a good sign. 

Stay off of google. If you are worried, go see a uro-onc and have them check you out - that will likely give you the best peace of mind. 

Who ordered the MRI... and why without contrast? My advice would be to get to specialist. If you're already seeing one, then you're in good hands.

MollyMarie64
Posts: 8
Joined: Dec 2020

Thank you for responding!

My PCP said it is not a simple cyst.  He referred to it as a "lesion."  He said that it grew 1 mm since the last CT scan.  I'm sorry, the MRI was ordered with and without contrast.  At least that's what I believe he said.  What concerned me the most, is that my PCP said the radiologist called him directly to discuss the findings.  Is that normal?  The fact that my calcium is up is a bit scary too.  I don't know...  Maybe I'm reading more into this.  Thank you for taking the time to respond.

AliceB1950's picture
AliceB1950
Posts: 123
Joined: Jun 2019

To reiterate and expand on what Misterace said, 1 mm difference on the two scans does not necessarily mean it has grown. A slight difference in the way you were positioned during the two scans could make the readings differ by that small an amount. For example, I have an aneurysm that's being watched, and it never appears quite the same size. On my last scan report, it was measured as smaller than the previous ones. I asked if it's possible for them to shrink, and my doctor explained that the size is one thing that varies the most on scans, and the cause can range from positioning to how the different radiologists read them, or even how hydrated you are, which can affect how tissue looks at any given time.

MollyMarie64
Posts: 8
Joined: Dec 2020

Thank you, Alice.  

That is very reassuring.  

Have a nice day!

~Molly

Bay Area Guy's picture
Bay Area Guy
Posts: 516
Joined: Jun 2016

Agree with both of the above comments.  I had a lot of scans between the discovery of my lesion in December, 2013 and my surgery in June, 2016.  Like yours, mine was small at 1.7cm.  I had both ultrasounds and CT's and what my urologic oncologist said is that there are so many variables to the scanning process that a minor change may not be a change at all.  Some of the variables include the type of scan (CT vs MRI vs ultrasound), your position during the scan, the technician performing the scan and the actual equipment used.

Your lesion/cyst is very small, so it may be the case that, like me, your doctor could recommend active surveillance.  Essentially, they take a wait and see approach with scans every six months.  My urologic oncologist said lesions this size are often benign, so he didn't want to reduce my kidney function by having it removed unless it was positive it was kidney cancer, which is why there was 2-1/2 years between discovery and surgery.  He did say, however, that if I could not psychologically handle that it might be malignant, he could get it out immediately.  I asked about possible growth and spread and was told that even if it was malignant, these types tend to grow very slowly and usually don't spread.  So I waited.  If your doctor recommends active surveillance, just make sure you're comfortable with that.  If you're not (and it's not a sign of weakness if you are uncomfortable, it's just a fact), then tell him/her and get it taken care of.

MollyMarie64
Posts: 8
Joined: Dec 2020

Thank you, Bay Area Guy.

Active survelleince sounds scary, but glad to see that you went with that approach and are doing very well.

Have a great day!

~Molly

donna_lee's picture
donna_lee
Posts: 1016
Joined: Feb 2009

A small "whatever" is there, watch and wait for subsequent testing and review.  I've been having CT's w/wo contrast, Chest x-ray with Abd/Pelvic US, and just US for years...15+.  I have cysts in my Left kidney, what's left of the liver, and in my pancreas.  With the more hi-rez readings, they can find all sorts of things you didn't know were there.  Surprises yes, and as long as they don't grow, I'm OK.

Good luck and have that MRI and have HOPE.

Hugs, 

donna_lee

MollyMarie64
Posts: 8
Joined: Dec 2020

I am sorry that you have had to endure so much testing, but it sounds like you are doing well.  Thank you for the helpful reply.  ~Molly

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