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My 91 year old father has chronic back pain so we had an MRI. during the MRI, they noticed something on his kidney. His doctor told me during our last visit and asked if we wanted to follow it up with a cat scan or pass. I asked for more info and she said, at his age, what would we do with the information? he is not a surgical candidate. And if its cancer, does it want to know that or would he be better living out his days without the anxiety of the knowledge.. I told her I truly didn't know if Id want to know. She said "think about it; talk to your father, and if you want, then let me know and Ill order the CAT scan"

I did. I think he understood. Sometimes he just stars into space and does her me and sometimes he stares into space and does not hear me. So I asked him if he heard me. He said he did, but that he thought right now we should be worrying more about the heart failure and I agreed. Well, 3 days later the appointment for the cat scan came in the mail and now he doesn't know what's going on. I asked if he remembered us talking about it; he said no, but if something was wrong, he'd want to know so he could "fix it and by more time". I said dad, you know how my stomach sometimes kills me and there is nothing they can do? well, even if they figure out what's in your kidney, they might not have an answer. So now he's worried about whether he should be worried. He worries constantly. He wants me to call the doctor tomorrow and ask her if we should do this and I know that basically means I need to decide whether to get him the cat scan to see whats in the kidney. BTW, there is no blood, no pain. They only saw it from an MRI for his back.

He doesn't have altz, but he has a bad case of PTSD from major battles in WWII. he wakes up sweating and screaming and says "I;m sorry I'm sorry I couldn't save you Davey". I so don't want to know who Davey was.... Our family has never ever talked about things that bother you. Its a family rule.

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I would tell Dad that the doctor decided he didn't need the test.
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BTW, personally I would opt not to have the scan. It would either show the spot was benign or something that we weren't going to do anything about. I would see it as an unnecessary use of money and time.
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If it would make you more comfortable, you could have the CT scan and decide what to do with the results after the fact. CT scans are not invasive and used not to be terribly expensive -- I don't know about now. It could be something completely benign, which would put your mind at rest. If it is something worse, I don't know what could be done. Most doctors wouldn't want to risk surgery on a 91 year old with heart problems. (I know I wouldn't.)
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so you think I should just tell him the doctor doesn't think he needs that test? that's my quandary. since I know he's already NOT a candidate for surgery to start with, why set him up for any more anxiety? but yet, if there would be anything that could be treatable..... wonder what the mass most likely is?
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a kidney operation is not recommended for the elderly. for some reason the operation can lead to cardiac arrest. if one kidney is removed it will wipe out the remaining one. my mother has a mass on one of her kidneys and nothing is being done about it. from what i read kidney cancer is a slow moving cancer. chemo or surgery are futile and too traumatic..
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