UAE: Resident gets shock cancer diagnosis with 4.5cm tumour, surgery saves life

Most people have no signs or symptoms in the early stages of kidney cancer


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Sat 6 Nov 2021, 3:18 PM

A 46-year-old Abu Dhabi resident is heaving a sigh of relief following a successful surgery to remove a tumour and save his kidney.

A few months ago, the expat got the shock of his life when a check-up for a simple pain in his abdomen was diagnosed as kidney cancer with 4.5cm renal tumour.

“I am a fit person for my age. I never had any worrying health issues. A while back, I felt pain in the right side of my abdomen. I didn’t want to take any chances. I went for a check-up. I was devastated at being diagnosed with kidney cancer.

"Worse, I was told my kidney has to be removed to treat cancer. It all felt surreal. I wondered why this happened to me? I consulted two other doctors. But everyone suggested surgery to remove my kidney," he said.

He was then referred to Burjeel Medical City, where a specialist doctor conducted a thorough assessment and assured him that the tumour can be treated without removing his entire kidney.

“I was relieved. The assurance from the doctor gave me much needed confidence and hope,” he said.

Dr Rishikesh Ramesh Pandya, a urology and uro-oncology consultant at Burjeel Medical City, pointed out that kidney cancer usually doesn’t have signs or symptoms in its early stages.

“Kidney cancer occurs when healthy cells in one or both kidneys grow out of control and form a lump called a tumour. Most people have no signs or symptoms in the early stages. It’s usually discovered during abdominal imaging tests to rule out other problems.

As the tumour grows, people may notice symptoms such as blood in the urine, lower back pain, a lump in the lower back and unexplained weight loss. If left untreated or undiagnosed, it will result in death," he said.

Dr Pandya performed laparoscopy – a minimally invasive keyhole surgery instead of a conventional open surgery for removing the tumour.


“The blood flow to the kidney was cut off for about 20-25 minutes before removing the tumour laparoscopically. The damaged area of the kidney was then repaired to prevent bleeding and urine leakage, as well as to hasten the kidney’s recovery. We were able to save more than 80 per cent of the kidneys without the need for any additional treatment like radiation therapy or chemotherapy,” said Dr Pandya, a laparoscopic uro surgeon.

The patient is now healthy and recovering well. He has a word of advice for everyone: “I wish to tell everyone not to take any symptoms lightly.”

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