In our new and ever-evolving medical realm, patients undergo more imaging to determine the cause for their complaints, and doctors are presented with more findings that need be analyzed and discussed. This happens with kidney cancer. Today, most patients will undergo an ultrasound and CT or MRI scans for varied symptoms. The scan shows what is felt to be an incidental finding of a small (<4 cm) mass in the kidney. This allows for the earlier diagnosis of these tumors.
While most of these masses are simple fluid-filled cysts, not uncommonly they are solid tumors, the majority of which are, in fact, kidney cancer. What is important to understand is that we are increasingly more knowledgeable at defining the risks for patients developing these tumors as well as the correct approach to decisions regarding their treatment.
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