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Old 06-11-2003, 09:44 AM   #1
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Unhappy Found mass on kidney......frightened.....

I've been having right side pain in my abdomin for sometime now....doctor suspected gallstones and did an ultrasound. Gallbladder is fine but ultrasound shows a small mass (about the size of an olive) on my right kidney. I'm scared.....could this be cancer? What else could it be....anyone else have this? I have to have a CT scan tomorrow but won't get results for a few days and I'm terrified not knowing whats going on. Any reassurance would be appreciated...thank you.

Shelli
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Last edited by Shellipoo; 06-19-2004 at 08:47 AM.

 
Old 06-12-2003, 03:35 PM   #2
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Shelli, Drs. found a mass on my kidney by accident 20 years ago. Yea, I freaked! It is the size of a grape, mid portion in my right kidney and it is called a benign renal angiomyolipoma. My urologist has an ultrasound done yearly and it has not changed in size or shape. He said should there ever be a change he would biopsy it, otherwise leave it alone. It is a benign (non cancer) tumor. Occasionally I experience dull ache on the right side and the doctor claims these things bleed sometime and that is the dull pain I am feeling. I hope this is what you have because it is not cancer and you can live with it!!
Good luck and try not to be scared.

 
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Old 06-14-2003, 10:11 PM   #3
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Sounds like exactly my problem. Had A CT and ultrasound, both indicated a 1 to 1.5cm mass on my right kidney. Waiting to see the urologist now.

 
Old 06-15-2003, 09:46 AM   #4
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Thanks for replying....I appreciate it. Best wishes to both of you.......
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Old 03-23-2004, 05:52 PM   #5
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Re: Found mass on kidney......frightened.....

How did this turn out for you all?

My wife just got IVP results back. Her gyno of all people had ordered it. He wants her to get a referal to a urologist to evaluate it. He said he saw a mass on the IVP but didn't go into detail about size.

Are the odds that this is cancerous? Are there better odds that it's a stone?

She's almost 30yo now. Thyroid issues since she was young. We both quit smoking recently after smoking throughout our 20s. I know, that's not a good sign. She's had some flank pain and they detected slight blood in her urine which is what prompted this testing. She did a colonoscopy too just to be sure it wasn't bowel related, that all came back OK. The lower abdominal U/S didn't show anything in the lower urinary/pelvic area.

I can't seem to find many message about renal (kidney) mass. She had a cyst on one ovary but the gyno said it didn't look troubling at all which is why he ordered the IVP. When I search for info about that, I found all kinds of things about how ovarian cysts are relatively common. But I can't find anything about kidney mass except cancer. Is that really the highly likely possibility?

 
Old 03-23-2004, 05:59 PM   #6
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Re: Found mass on kidney......frightened.....

My CT scan results showed that the mass was a kidney cyst. Apparently these are quite common (although I had never heard of them prior to this). They are usually left alone unless they cause bleeding or severe pain.....my doctor recommended watching it by yearly ultrasound or CT scan and won't biopsy unless it grows larger.

Best wishes to you....I hope that your wifes problem is something as simple as mine.
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Old 03-23-2004, 06:22 PM   #7
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Re: Found mass on kidney......frightened.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shellipoo
My CT scan results showed that the mass was a kidney cyst. Apparently these are quite common (although I had never heard of them prior to this). They are usually left alone unless they cause bleeding or severe pain.....my doctor recommended watching it by yearly ultrasound or CT scan and won't biopsy unless it grows larger.

Best wishes to you....I hope that your wifes problem is something as simple as mine.
Shelli,

THANK YOU for the quick reply. This forum has been a Godsend for me over the last few months. In January, I was going through weird gastro issues, and of course freaking out that it could be cancer. Maybe it still could, but I felt a LOT better after they removed my gallbladder which turned out to test positive to chronis disease (test showed that before, then confirmed after removal). Anyway...

Next stop was wife got ultrasound back from ovaries that mentioned a cyst. The radiologist report used a frightening term but when the gyno (who is great) evaluated it, he said very common and not at all a problem.

Now this. She is freaked out now because her gyno obviously saw enough to warrant urologist. Then again, this guy is very good and is the kind of person who wants to make sure the best person for the job is on it. So it may just be precautionary.

Did you have any other symptoms like flank pain? My wife has had a fair share of that. What about blood in urine?

As with the other issues, I'd hate to self-diagnose based on anectdotal evidence, but hearing from people who have been in the same boat makes it SO much easier to go on with life between testing and appointments. I can see it now, another 2 weeks for urologist, then 2 weeks for the test, then 2 weeks for the results. Now that something has been identified, I really hope we can find a urologist who can meet ASAP. Especially since I'm hearing about people who are sadly diagnosed and have their kidney out within weeks.. it sounds like it could be urgent.

Any further info you have on how common regular kidney cysts are would be appreciated. I'm also wondering if it's just a stone.. maybe the gyno just can't say for sure but hopefully there's a good chance that it's harmless.

-Matt

 
Old 03-24-2004, 07:02 AM   #8
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Re: Found mass on kidney......frightened.....

Yes....the health forums here are definately a God send....I only wish I had found them much sooner as I've had to deal with many health issues over the past couple years. It sounds like you and your wife have also been thru alot.

My initial symptoms started with flank pain....actually doctor suspected gallbladder and found the kidney cyst as a fluke during a gallbladder ultrasound. At that point she seemed very concerned and insisted on a CT scan....scared me to death because doctor was very urgent and insistant on getting this done ASAP. The waiting for CT scan appointment and test results was awful....about a month before I got the reassuring diagnosis a simple kidney cyst (I have a family history of kidney cancer so I was quite worried). I was referred to a surgeon at that point who recommended the wait and see method....I have not had the cyst looked at since but the pain has pretty much disappeared so I'm asumming the cyst has also hopefully disappeared! I have had no occurance of blood in the urine either.

As for how common....the surgeon told me that most people will develop a kidney cyst as some point in their lifetime....most are just not found as they are often small enough not to cause pain. Most of these cysts are found on routine ultrasounds for other causes...... And kidney stones....I guess it's pretty easy to tell the difference. Ironically I was found to have a kidney stone on the opposite kidney, never had pain with it so we've left it alone for now also.

Best of luck to you and your wife.....I'm sure your gyno is just erroring on the side of caution.....take care!
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Old 04-01-2004, 05:49 PM   #9
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Re: Found mass on kidney......frightened.....

We met with the Urologist today. So far, the IVP was inconclusive. It looked like there was a filling defect in the left renal pelvis. It turns out this is not the bulk of the kidney itself, it's like the "funnel" part of the ureter that attachs to the open area within the kidney, where the urine itself is stored.

The IVP showed that there's no blockage, both kidneys appear to be functioning fully, and the rest of the urinary tract was unremarkable.

A CT was done to get a better picture of this area. The CT was also unable to draw any conclusions. It mentioned that something appears to be there but it's too small or hard to visualize to know know what it is for sure.

The Urologist said that's she not completely convinced that there is anything at all. She said that a lot of times these images are looking through other body parts and don't already have an unobstructed view. She said that the only way to be sure is to have cystoscopy where she will visually explorer and either see something or not. She said *if* she sees something, she will biopsy it. She said based on where this thing would be, and since my wife is not diabetic nor taking HIV drugs, that it's really either (a) nothing or (b) a malignancy. She said it would NOT be renal cell if that's the case, but rather transitional cell.

My reading and her information says that transitional cell is about 10-15% of all kidney cancers. As with all kidney cancers, more likely in men. More likely starting at age 50 (my wife would be the youngest person this urologist has ever diagnosed with renal cancer). Really the only strikes against us at this point are (a) potentially positive image results and (b) my wife smoked for 8-10 years though not heavily.

The microscopic blood in urine is still present. They sent the urine out for cytology testing because that is somewhat accurate for detecting this type of cancer. The nurse said that might be back on Wednesday, and the cystoscopy is on Friday. We're not even sure if we want to know those results before Friday just because it would only freak us out even more. Surely we'll be freaked out if the Urologist sees a tumor since she said it would almost certainly be malignant. But at least if she sees it AND the urine comes back positive, we would then be 99% sure. Being only like 60% sure is what is killing us. We can't just accept it and then treat it aggressively. Instead we're just wondering.

We've now read up on the treatment and based on age it sounds like IF there is something there, following the path laid out, the kidney would be coming out. We were initially completely freaked out, and obviously we still are, but I think we've come to terms that living with one kidney would not be the end of the world and hopefully we're not talking terms like survival. That gives me some degree of reassurance, at least I can focus more on the loss of kidney rather than the loss of my wife. I just can't even think about that or I start to have a breakdown.

We went for a walk today to get some dinner. As we got there, I think we both came to the point where yes we're scared, but there's nothing we can do other than take whatever comes head on. I am picturing the Urologist coming out of the exam and telling me that she found nothing at all, and everything is just fine.

Hopefully this helps others who read it! I can't find many messages about Transitional Cell Cancer. It seems like Kidney Cancer itself is quite rare, and the transitional cell form is one of the rarer forms at that.

-Matt

Some of this brought

 
Old 04-02-2004, 06:45 AM   #10
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Re: Found mass on kidney......frightened.....

Well....I wish you all the best and hopefully the rest of your test will show nothing......I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers...please do update when you get results.
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Old 04-12-2004, 08:47 AM   #11
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Re: Found mass on kidney......frightened.....

Good news! The urologist came out of the procedure and told me that she didn't see anything remarkable at all. It was probably just an anatomical abnormality that caused a few of the X-ray films to look slightly suspicious. This will probably be in the 1/3 of all microscopic hematuria that there's no good explanation for. Urine Cytology report came back the day before the exam and was normal too. Wife is in some discomfort just from the procedure itself and they had to use a small stent that will come out on Thursday.

Hope this helps somebody who ends up in a similar boat down the road. Just because something looks suspicious on an X-ray, there are often other more likely possibilities if the imaging tests are inconclusive.

 
Old 04-19-2004, 03:11 PM   #12
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Question Re: Found mass on kidney......frightened.....

I am in a boat myself.
I'm new here and was wanting to throw some questions out.

I did have an ultrasound done for my gallbladder and found the complicated cystic mass on the lower pole of my left kidney. It measures 2.4 cm in diameter and is not painful. I have been having upper right quadrant pain and IBS as well as bloody mucous stools.

When my dr told me about the cysts, I was not worried b/c I have had a cyst in my breast for a few years now and thought nothing of it ... until..
I came home and did some investigating. I was horrified! I found that since my cyst in my breast was fluid filled, that made everything much better and safe... but the one(s) on my kidney are "massy" and solid filled.

I got the CT scan results back today and the nurse says everything looks fine. Not much detail at all.. So I requested my dr call me back so I could get some answers to it all.

I'm confused ..
I found nothing positive on this subject.. all negative. I do want a Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) done b/c I am so nervous about it all. That's the only way to "be sure" and sometimes that's not good enough. I have smoked for 11 years and am 28 years old. I know neoplasm is highly unlikely due to my age, but I am not looking forward to finding something down the road that I could have done something about.

How do I ask my dr for a FNA and how do you handle the "second opinion" issue?
Also, I have had many of the renal carcinoma symptoms and even a rare one that is weird.. the back and forth movement of my eyes.. weird.
I am confused as to where to go from here.
Please help.

Thank you for your time!

Julia

 
Old 04-20-2004, 07:49 AM   #13
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Re: Found mass on kidney......frightened.....

Julia,

This may not bring you a lot of comfort, but a few things to keep in mind. For starters, if you read the big medical sites and read the symptoms of kidney cancer, you'll find that the same exact symptoms apply to host of other conditions. In fact, I never found those sites to be very useful. If they tell you that a symptom is headaches, then you tend to remember every headache you've ever had and start to think maybe they've all been caused by something bad. Try reading forums like this instead and see what symptoms people really have. For example, most medical sites and doctors all seem to think that ovarian cysts do not cause any pain. But you'll read plenty of messages on this forum alone of people who say otherwise.

You will probably not find much positive on the subject. Mostly because it's more helpful for sites to give info on the worst possible scenario. A lot of people will not pursue their medical issues aggressively. If they are given the worst case scenario, it might save their life. But still, the odds are in your favor, and you should continue to be aggressive in getting answers just to put your mind at ease.

Another thing to remember is that kidney cancer itself is rare. They mention a pole. Does that mean the "meat" of the kidney or the tube leading out? Or kind of the "fingers" that extend into the renal pelvis? You're 28, and smoked for 11 years. Obviously this is a great reason to quit smoking, but any urologist will tell you that when they hear about possible kidney cancer they expect to see a 55 year old man who has chain smoked for 35 years. Granted, this does not eliminate the possibility for you, but just remember that it's still highly unlikely.

2.5cm is very small. Have they done a urine cytology? This will sometimes show cancer cells in the urine if that's what it is. This test isn't 100%, but it can at least put your mind at ease. If nothing else, if the test is negative, our urologist explained that it would at least indicate that it's a slow growing cancer and not as aggressive. The size would also indicate that it's new. Kidney cancer from my reading is highly treatable. Granted, nobody *wants* to lose a kidney, but of all cancers, and based on the size of this mass and your age, the doctors would be highly confident that you would be fully cured.

Now, all of this is just assuming the worst. Until something proves that it's bad, you can't assume that it is. Most of the time, kidney masses are imaged with at least two studies. In your case, they did an ultrasound which is generally good for "all clear" type looks and size measurements. It's not always all that great at qualitatively looking at something. A CT scan is good for positioning and other things. They generally do it with dye and without dye to see if this area "lights up" or not. If they both, and the nurse told you it's nothing to worry about, then chances are good that this mass did light up. From what I was told, if it lights up then it's probably just a regular cyst or a benign tumor or a blood clot.

Remember, if it's not in the renal pelvis, even if it's not a simple cyst, there's still a good chance that it's benign, whatever it is. If they find something in the renal pelvis, and it's not just a crossing vessel like a vein, then we were told that it's likely to be cancer. If it's in the "meat" of the kidney, then it can be a whole host of things.

Our urologist and the second opinion both said that it wasn't likely for a 29 year old female who smoked for 11 years to have any form of kidney cancer. But the Xray IVP image did have some "suspicious" results that warranted clarification. I don't know if the same cystoscopy can look into the "meat" of the kidney, but that's what we did to exam the renal pelvis. My wife is still going through the side effects of the invasive exam. She regrets the exam, though we are both glad that our mind is put at ease.

Another option the second opinion told us was that we could wait 3 months and have more imaging done to see if it changed shape at all. He said that this is generally the less aggressive option that older people take because they're already old and they tend to feel that another 3 months probably won't change the outcome much. When you're late 20s, it's good to be more aggressive because the doctors would expect a full cure and long healthy life.

The second urologist also told us that it wasn't likely to be a secondary cancer that came from somewhere else. But remember, our "suspicious" shadow was in the renal pelvis, the funnel at the top of the tube leading down to the bladder (i.e. transitional cell). I'm not sure how that applies to renal cell, but he mentioned that generally the brain, lungs, bones, and lymph nodes are the places that cancer usually spreads to. Also, take solice in the fact that they have done two imaging studies and nothing unusual at all was seen anywhere else.

Even in the worst case scenario, which is highly unlikely itself, you are highly likely to live a long healthy life. And in our case, the doctors had suspicions. They told us that we shouldn't be worried since nothing has been found for certain, but they all thought further investigation should be done. All of them. If your doctor doesn't think it's anything unusual, and you read the CT report yourself and the radiologist didn't see anything that stood out, chances are great that it is just that.. nothing. Especially considering the radiologist is doing a follow up study and practically trying to find something juicy for his report. If he was focused on that area and still didn't see anything, breath easy!

 
Old 05-11-2004, 03:32 PM   #14
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Re: Found mass on kidney......frightened.....

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Last edited by William Y; 07-06-2004 at 08:24 PM.

 
Old 05-11-2004, 08:49 PM   #15
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Re: Found mass on kidney......frightened.....

William,

It depends on several factors. Where exactly is the mass located? If the mass is in the renal pelvis, then we were told that it's almost surely cancer and based on imaging studies, the chances go up. So if the imaging is inconclusive, they might do a cystoscopy to confirm.

The renal pelvis is not the "meat" of the kidney. It's the funnel area where the wide part touches the meat of the kidney, and the narrow part connects to the ureter (which leads to your bladder). If there an obvious mass in that part, everything I've read and been told says that it's almost surely cancer. In the renal pelvis, ureter, and (I think) bladder.. it's called transitional cell carcinoma.

Keep in mind, the possible mass in my wife's renal pelvis turned out to be nothing. How did they decide that? They performed a cystoscopy which then used a flexible camera to then go up the ureters and visualize the renal pelvis. I do not know if that sort of test is useful for masses in the "meat" of the kidney. This type of cancer would be called renal cell carcinoma.

Renal cell is much more common than transitional cell. Additionally, a mass that is in the area where it would be renal cell.. that location can have benign tumors almost as often as cancer. Because of that, if they suspect renal cell, I think it would be best to get a second opinion while you await the MRI.

They can also do urine tests to check for cancer cells. These tests cannot confirm or deny cancer. What they can do is at least speak somewhat to the aggressiveness of the possible cancer. If they find cancer cells in the urine, then chances are probably good that the mass is cancer. It might be aggressive, it might not be.

If the urine test does NOT show cancer cells, that doesn't eliminate cancer as a possibility. However, we were told that not finding those cells in the urine would at least indicate that the cancer is not an aggressive form. One of our urologists explained that aggressive cancers tend to shed cells more often than lesser-aggressive forms.

I'd suggest that you ask your urologist about this type of test in addition to the MRI. And while you wait, definitely get a second opinion. If the mass is located in the renal pelvis, they should be able to do a fairly conclusive biopsy but like I said, the odds are good that any mass in that location is cancer.

If it's in the "meat" of the kidney, then they suspect renal cell. I think renal cell may require a different biopsy, such as a long needle guided by ultrasound. One risk with any biopsy is that it can break the wall and let the cancer spread.

Your age will also be a factor. If you're young, the cancer might be aggressive, and the imaging studies are fairly conclusive (always get a second opinion to interpret just how conclusive an imaging study is).. then they are recommending kidney removal for a couple reasons. Living with 1 kidney is not a big deal, though obvious nobody wants to lose 1 kidney if they can avoid it. Curing kidney cancer is almost much more likely by removing the kidney. If you are young, they would expect a full cure and a long healthy life. But they want to catch it fast before it spreads to improve the odds of that.

Ask more questions to find out more about what the imaging studies say. We had to get our original imaging studies to drag around between two urologists for two opinions. Don't be afraid to be aggressive like that. Most doctors will appreciate that you are taking it seriously and want to make the best choice.

 
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