What are standard test used for diagnosing renal cell carcinoma?

Posted by twobeb87 @twobeb87, Jun 30, 2023

What is the preferred or standard for diagnosing renal cell carcinoma? I’ve read so many places that a ct scan with contrast is sufficient. I’ve read a biopsy. I’ve read an ultrasound. I’ve read a PET scan? Any advice on which is more accurate or needed for a diagnosis. Thank you. - Confused/frustrated

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Kidney Cancer Support Group.

@twobeb87

Thank you, I like the idea of writing my questions down. After dealing with the kidney mass, them we have to take a look at the liver masses next and the dilated common bile duct all the way thru the pancreas. Scary stuff.

Jump to this post

It IS scary. But information is your friend and gathering it is a priority. I know how intimidating it is to sit in front of a doctor whose time is valuable and ask them questions. BUT, I also know that it is their JOB to answer those questions. I have learned to ask for an extra 15 minutes when I make my appointments. I’ve been SO lucky to have doctors who take time to answer all of my questions. I think they appreciate that I have my questions written down so it usually goes quickly. I also write down their answers. This has made my “journey” less confusing and I feel like I am being proactive in my care plan. I am going to need this care and treatment for the rest of my life, so I NEED to know exactly what’s going on. I hope your consultation is soon. You can message me directly if you want to.

REPLY

Thank you, I like the idea of writing my questions down. After dealing with the kidney mass, them we have to take a look at the liver masses next and the dilated common bile duct all the way thru the pancreas. Scary stuff.

REPLY
@twobeb87

Was your kidney mass large? I’ve read that with large tumors the preferred option is removal of the kidney.

Jump to this post

My tumor was considered small. But until you have your mass biopsied, you will not know the exact kind of tumor that it is. It could be benign. I hope you are scheduled for a consultation soon and that your dr recommends a biopsy. You and your doctor need to know what you are working with before drastic measures are taken like removing your kidney. BTW…my first urologist wanted to remove my kidney. I got a second opinion and I’m glad I did. I also consulted a nephrologist who agreed with my second opinion dr to take a less aggressive, but still effective approach to my cancer. Please be an advocate for yourself and ask your dr questions. You DESERVE answers before any major decisions concerning your health are made. I know this is scary for you, so try to stay calm and focused. Get a legal pad and start compiling a list of questions for your doctor. I’m here if you want to “talk”.

REPLY
@sally0526

Your post sounds like what I went through last year. A CT scan (for another complaint) found a mass on my left kidney. My urologist performed a biopsy and it was diagnosed as UTUC (upper tract urothelial carcinoma) which was graded as slow growing and non invasive. I was sent to another urologist who specialized in laser treatments and he did 2 ablations 3 months apart to laser out the tumors. My tumor were in a tricky area it the very top of my ureter and unless the tumor was removed, it would cause problems. I know how hard it is to wait for the diagnosis and treatment plan. Be patient and take a notepad with you to your follow up appointment. ASK QUESTIONS! Don’t let your dr rush you. After your appointment, write down any questions you still have and send them to your doctor. I was lucky to have a dr who answered my emails. Stay focused on your health. Here’s some hope for you….I had a CT scan 2 weeks ago and a cystoscopy last week. NO SIGN of cancer. Of course, I will have to be monitored frequently. But for now, I’m cancer free. I wish the same outcome for you. 🙂

Jump to this post

Was your kidney mass large? I’ve read that with large tumors the preferred option is removal of the kidney.

REPLY

I had rcc and i got a ct scan and then an MRI, I would ask for a MRI, it shows more than the CT scan.

REPLY
@twobeb87

I recently had an abdominal CT scan with contrast, for a 7.1 x 6.5 x 6.5cm mass. The CT scan report states:
IMPRESSION:
1. There is a large mass in the lower pole of the left kidney. This has the typical appearance of a renal cell carcinoma.
2. Interval decrease in size of the nodule in the left lower lobe.
3. Dilatation of the common common bile duct with abrupt transition in the head of the pancreas. Further evaluation is recommended.
4. Additional findings as described above.

Is this a diagnosis of RCC or enough evidence of RCC? This mass was discovered after a biopsy on the left lobe of my left lung (mass was non-malignant).

Jump to this post

Your post sounds like what I went through last year. A CT scan (for another complaint) found a mass on my left kidney. My urologist performed a biopsy and it was diagnosed as UTUC (upper tract urothelial carcinoma) which was graded as slow growing and non invasive. I was sent to another urologist who specialized in laser treatments and he did 2 ablations 3 months apart to laser out the tumors. My tumor were in a tricky area it the very top of my ureter and unless the tumor was removed, it would cause problems. I know how hard it is to wait for the diagnosis and treatment plan. Be patient and take a notepad with you to your follow up appointment. ASK QUESTIONS! Don’t let your dr rush you. After your appointment, write down any questions you still have and send them to your doctor. I was lucky to have a dr who answered my emails. Stay focused on your health. Here’s some hope for you….I had a CT scan 2 weeks ago and a cystoscopy last week. NO SIGN of cancer. Of course, I will have to be monitored frequently. But for now, I’m cancer free. I wish the same outcome for you. 🙂

REPLY
@twobeb87

I recently had an abdominal CT scan with contrast, for a 7.1 x 6.5 x 6.5cm mass. The CT scan report states:
IMPRESSION:
1. There is a large mass in the lower pole of the left kidney. This has the typical appearance of a renal cell carcinoma.
2. Interval decrease in size of the nodule in the left lower lobe.
3. Dilatation of the common common bile duct with abrupt transition in the head of the pancreas. Further evaluation is recommended.
4. Additional findings as described above.

Is this a diagnosis of RCC or enough evidence of RCC? This mass was discovered after a biopsy on the left lobe of my left lung (mass was non-malignant).

Jump to this post

@twobeb87 welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. We aren’t professionals and don’t diagnose or prescribe. We are here mainly here to share our experiences and to support each other to show that we’re not alone. When words like “mass, biopsy” are used in conjunction with any scans it is a cause for concern. It sounds as if your providers are busy making plans for “further evaluation”. This is a good thing if they are trying to be thorough before making a complete diagnosis. But I understand that it is SO HARD to have some information but no diagnosis or plan. Waiting is difficult. My hope and prayer for you is a sense of peace and calm knowing that your providers are working hard to figure this out. Fear and anxiety is understandable but only makes things worse. Do you have local realtime family and/or friends that can be with you to support you while you wait for more answers?

REPLY

I recently had an abdominal CT scan with contrast, for a 7.1 x 6.5 x 6.5cm mass. The CT scan report states:
IMPRESSION:
1. There is a large mass in the lower pole of the left kidney. This has the typical appearance of a renal cell carcinoma.
2. Interval decrease in size of the nodule in the left lower lobe.
3. Dilatation of the common common bile duct with abrupt transition in the head of the pancreas. Further evaluation is recommended.
4. Additional findings as described above.

Is this a diagnosis of RCC or enough evidence of RCC? This mass was discovered after a biopsy on the left lobe of my left lung (mass was non-malignant).

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.