“An MRI has shown a mass that could be renal carcinoma. The mass is on the renal artery so the surgeon has recommended a partial nephrectomy but said that most likely he will have to remove the entire kidney due to the location of the 3 cm mass. He says that it is a shame because the mass is so small but he is pretty sure it is cancer. He says that a biopsy is not a conclusive test and would rather just do the operation. My question is: How can I be sure that the mass is cancerous? I would hate to remove the kidney and later find out that it was a healthy kidney with a benign mass. Any suggestions to help me make a decision?”.
This is a dilemma we face daily. A biopsy can be help full in a very few cases. If the mass does not look like cancer it can help diagnose an oncocytoma. This is benign but at the same time if it is cancer it might make the following surgery easier. Other options depending on your age could be close follow up.