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Old 11-14-2006, 04:31 PM   #3
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Re: Question on kidney cancer

I ended up being able to go to the doctor's with the boyfriend because his friend cancelled last-minute. I was so glad I was there! The situation is this: The spot on the one remaining kidney does appear to be kidney cancer, same as the other side that was removed. It is a small mass (about an inch) and has not gotten any larger since the last MRI a few months ago. The doctor said if my boyfriend were a lot older, he would say to just monitor it. But since he's still relatively young, it needs to come out so it does not get larger and/or spread. (He said they cannot tell whether this cancer spread from the other kidney.) The previous surgery was laparascopic, with a relatively short recovery. This surgery (partial nephrectomy) cannot be done laparascopically; it will be major surgery with an 8-10-week recovery. The doctor said the kidney can function at almost 100% even after a partial nephrectomy, though there is a (apparently rare) risk of temporary or permanent dialysis. There is no follow-up chemo involved, unless the cancer pops up somewhere else.

The boyfriend doesn't want the surgery until after 1/1 (financial reasons). Because the mass seems stable, the doctor gave the OK, though I am really concerned with leaving it in any longer than necessary. I couldn't really ask some of the detailed questions I had -- the prognosis, the likelihood it could spread even though it's still small, etc. I did not want to scare my boyfriend and his sister, who was also there, by asking too many questions -- but I am really scared myself....probably because I have access to so much more information than they do. But at this point, it doesn't do any good to worry. It is what it is, and we just have to get him through the surgery and hope/pray that's the end of it.