farscape: Everything you're saying sounds like there is nothing to worry about. You're male, never smoked, and even your age is just barely on the low end of the more common range. Granted, none of this makes it impossible, but the chances are good. Plus, you've had several imaging studies and even a poor man's IVP at least means they would probably see something there if it had been there. Maybe it was too small before, or maybe it's a simply cyst or a host of other benign possibilities.
I wouldn't lose any sleep over it if I were you. And honestly, I would be completely amazed if they get the CT back and will be able to tell you anything more than "suspicious" or "not suspicious." I highly doubt that there will be any sort of "come to the office in person" type bad news. I am pretty sure the worst case scenario would be that the radiologist sees a mass and gives an opinion on what it might be. At that point, the two most likely outcomes are:
A. Nothing suspicious. Either the original Xray had an artifact, or it's clearly a simple cyst and nothing to worry about.
B. Something suspicious. The radiologist will probably suggest further testing and possibly a biopsy.
So don't worry! If it's something, it's something, and another couple days don't mean very much. If it's something, you are likely to make a full recovery and live a long healthy life. Again, nobody WANTS to lose a kidney, it's a very scary prospect, but of all cancers in the world, this one seems to have a very good success rate if caught early. In your case, with all the imaging you've had, you will be talking VERY early. And again, this is all assuming that it's the worst case scenario!
I'm a poker player, and I would say that your odds are extremely good that in a week you'll be like me.. posting here about a kindey *scare* that you experienced.
I've always been told the opposite. I've been told that biopsy is in fact the ONLY test that can be conclusive.
To biopsy a kidney tumor, I think there are two methods. One is a long needle through the back which navigates into the kidney using a live ultrasound to guide it. The risk is that the need can navigate its way through things that it shouldn't be putting holes in (intestines, biliary ducts, etc.).
The other method is laproscopic surgery. They cut 3-4 small holes in strategic places on your abdomen. They insert a small camera to see, a probe of sorts to move things out of the way, and another tool that can get close to the kidney to insert a needle and drain tissue from the tumor.
I had laproscopic surgery in February 2004 to remove my gallbladder. Incidentally, a non-functioning gallbladder had been giving me symptoms of alternative diarhea/constipation (mostly diarhea though) for a couple years and finally it had really shut down and was causing weird internal bloating.
Anyway, my point being that this type of surgery has good recovery times. The cuts were small and healed fast without stiches. During my wife's scare, I read that lapro is also used to remove kidneys now (seems weird, maybe they make one hole larger than the one they pulled my gallbladder out of). That's just a side note, because neither of you have been given any results that indicate kidney cancer.
Just remember, until you get test results that lean towards bad, keep on assuming the best! One imaging study is not nearly enough to diagnose kidney cancer. At most, one imaging study can only raise suspicions but that is it.
As for the urine tests, it's hard to say. You might be interpretting the conference in a different way. From what our urologists told us and what I read, the urine cytology test can indeed diagnose cancer coming from either the kidneys, ureter, or bladder. BUT... and this is a huge but... it cannot RULE OUT cancer in the kidneys, ureter, nor bladder.
So if you get a urine cytology report and it finds cancer cells, then I believe even before that conference, a urologist would diagnose you with cancer. HOWEVER.. if you get a urine cytology report and it finds nothing, you CANNOT be assured that you don't have cancer.
Cancer tumors tend to shed cells. They don't always do it though. And even if they shed some cells, a non-aggressive tumor won't shed as many. And when they take the urine sample, it's possible that there are either not enough cells to be detected, or the tumor just wasn't shedding at the time. So this test is good to take if you suspect kidney, ureter, or bladder cancer. But if it comes back clear, it can't be used to prove that you do not have it.
So I recommend the test, but you need to look at the whole picture. Use the urine cytology, your risk factors, and at least two imaging studies. If there is still some suspicion after all that, a biopsy is the only thing that will let you sleep easy. But all kidney biopsies are invasive and painful, so you first want to cover all of the non-invasive steps. Most of the time, the big picture will end up showing that it's something harmless.
I know how hard that advice is to swallow. It's hard to put your mind at ease through all of this. I was a complete mess the whole time waiting for results. Then when they did the cystoscopy surgery and the doctor came out and told me she didn't find anything.. it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders.
Well the CT scan is done. It was not a lot of fun as they insisted on placing an IV and leaving it for the whole scan. I had thought they would do a simple injection, but they did it the complex way.
I await my drs call on monday. I will try and not worry about it this weekend. I'll go to a movie for distraction and fun. Van Helsing looks interesting.
Again, these tests cannot rule out cancer. There is no test that you can take that will determine that there is no cancer anywhere in your body. There are a few tests which, if they return a positive result, are good indicators that you DO have cancer. But the opposite is never true. These tests cannot exclude the possibility of cancer. The only test that can tell you "no" for sure is a biopsy. And that test will only say "no" for the specific mass that was tested.
As for the symptoms, I really don't know. I would say this: be very careful not to worry yourself will symptoms. Everybody does it, it's hard to stop. If you read that a symptom of kidney cancer is a pain in your finger, you are more likely to feel a pain in your finger.
I did not see very many specific symptoms about kidney cancer. You might try some of the forums here to look for specifics. I will stay on the topic of this thread and tell you what I went through during the "scare" phase of what turned out to be nothing more than a scare.
I would hear my wife cough and instantly get nervous that the cancer had spread to her lungs. If she had some back pain we would both worry that it was caused by the possible mass (which wasn't even real). Every ache and pain we would worry that it was a bad sign.
I think most of us when we are not in this scare phase have quite a few coughs and aches and pains. We don't even notice most of them because they are quite normal. When we get a questionable test result back, we immediately convince ourself that these common things are "symptoms."
In my gallbladder situation, the more I worried about it, the more pressure I could feel. Then I had it removed and most of the sensations were gone. When I went through the scare with my wife shortly afterwards, the pressure came back almost immediately. A lot of it was pyschologically triggered. Now that we aren't worried anymore, I feel great!
Maybe they are real, maybe they aren't real. I would suggest not paying much attention to these things because they are probably triggered by your brain. I know how you are feeling, and I would tell you to not go read some of the actual kidney cancer posts, but I know you will probably want to do it.
Remember, this topic is mostly about kidney masses that turned out to nothing.. but scared the people going through it. Let's hope both of the latest posters here end up with the same outcome as the rest of us!!
Another false alarm. Renal CT revealed scaring from a previous kidney infection but no tumors or cycts. Kidneys functioning perfectly normally. All other tests have been canceled except the 24 hour urine test (just to see what they will learn about my previous stone problems).
So I join the others who have survived the kidney cancer panic.
Some good news for all you frightened folks out there. My father had an 8 lb. (Yes, the size of a child!) mass removed along with one of his kidneys. He had been gaining weight, and felt like something was in there, but there was not pain, no palpable mass, no shortness of breath nothing.
After it's removal, a specimen was sent to 4 different cancer specialists down at the Houston Medical Center. NO CANCER! So try not to be too worried, sometimes these things are benign!
A week ago I got severe abdominal pains on the right side. Long story short I was diagnosed with kidney stones but on the CT a mass about 3.1 came up on my left kidney. I had the CT redone with contrast and I was told the mass "light up" apparently this is not good. I have to get an MRI to better asses if this is cancerous.
My question is: I need to hear from people who also had this found and it turned out NOT to be cancer. Looking for encouragement.
I am 33 y.o do not smoke or drink. I have no symptoms on my left kidney only the mass that was discovered.
I had an MRI done yesterday and I am waiting for the results. I should see the doctor either today or Monday. I know exactly hoe you feel. I just keep focused on God and keep proclaiming that He is going to heal me and that the tumor is benign. It is keeping me calm and I am believing in a miracle.
It is very hard because your mind just takes off at 100 miles thinking the worst.
A couple months back my sister was urinating pure blood. She went and had tests, but nothing definite showed up. They could not give her a diagnosis. Last week, she was having pain in her leg, so her Orthopedist sent her for an MRI to rule out a compressed disc. The MRI showed a "mass" on her kidney. She was sent for a CT two days later, but will not know the results until Tuesday (she went for the CT Friday). She is so upset that she took off work. We have no family history of cancer. She is 45, smokes, drinks. She was diagnosed with Lyme disease a few years back. She has had tests for thyroid disorder because of sudden weight changes and fatigue. So, I don't know what to say to her except not to expect the worst. I can't image her growing a malignant tumor all of a sudden; if it wasn't there previously (I'm not sure they sent her for a CT when she was urinating blood). So, say a prayer for her! Thanks! I will keep you all posted!