Oncology (General Cancer)/Angiomyolipoma


 I am a 49 female who is 5'10" and weighs 150 pounds. Three years ago, I had clear cell stage 1 - grade 3 kidney cancer in the right kidney. Had surgery all was good. This year we had a ultrasound instead of a Ct scan. The report came back 5 x 5 x 9 M&M benign-appearing echogenic focus in the mid to upper left kidney likely represents a small angiomyolipoma.
  Ok, the doctor said it is too small to biopsy. So we need to wait to see if it grows. Having a ct in November.
How often does it turn out to be benign? Should I be concerned? Is the only sure way to know if it is clear cell to biopsy? If it is this angiomyolipoma tumor, how often do you see one?
 I like more concrete diagnoses. Not likely, or appearing. I know that is not how it is but it is hard to just wait. Is there something to do or not do, in terms of size? Thank you for your time.

Your doctor is advising the "right" decision, even though I'm sure it's proving to cause anxiety.  Usually ultrasonographers can tell a lot from the echo patterns, and angiomyolipomas are not unusual.  However, having had kidney cancer, you are at significant risk for a second cancer, so what might have been passed over in a normal person is worth a second look in you.  You don't lose anything (it's been shown) by waiting a bit even if this very small tumor is malignant.  Renal cancers, oddly enough, grow rather slowly at first.  If it turns out that you do have a renal cancer and I hope you don't, look into radiofrquency ablation of the tumor rather than surgery.  I'm assuming they took out your right kidney.  Whenever you think about the situation and feel the panic setting in, tell yourself that you are going to save your worrying for just before that CT scan, then put it out of your mind.  Hope this helps.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

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Donald Higby, M.D.


I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.


I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

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America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

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