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Ask Dr. Gott 11/4
Blood clot more serious than cancer
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    DEAR DR. GOTT: I recently went on a trip that involved traveling 1,100 miles. During that time, I developed a blood clot in my right leg that moved into the bottom of both lungs. Because of this, I had several tests done. One was a CT scan, and, during this, they incidentally found what appeared to be a tumor on one of my kidneys. I was given the anticoagulant Coumadin to start immediately and told to check out the kidney problem when I got home.
    When I returned home, I saw my physician, who was concerned about my kidney at first. I asked for a referral to a specialist, who ordered another CT scan. Again, it showed I had a mass on my kidney. I was told that it was under 4 centimeters, so it was caught quite early.
    My urologist doesn't want to do anything about the kidney right now despite the fact that he feels it is cancer. He says it may have been there a long time and that these things are usually slow-growing. He appears to be more concerned with the blood clots in my lungs.
    I am scheduled for a follow-up CT scan in 90 days and am looking at surgery sometime this fall.
    My concern is that if this is cancer, waiting is just giving it a chance to spread. I would like to have the cancer dealt with right now. My daughter is a registered nurse and agrees with my urologist, so I am not sure what to think. Can you help? Does the urologist's approach seem right to you?
    DEAR READER: I am not a urologist, but I agree with him.
    The blood clots in your lungs are your more serious problem. They are more likely to cause immediate problems or even death should they move.
    Your kidney tumor, on the other hand, was found incidentally; therefore, I assume it was not causing any symptoms. Without the blood-clot testing, you probably would not have even known you had a kidney tumor until it grew or spread, causing symptoms. You are lucky that it was caught early.
    Follow your urologist's advice. Stay on the Coumadin.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Kidney Disorders."

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I am a physician and noticed a potentially serious error in the units of vitamin D recommended in a recent column. You used milligrams of D, whereas I am sure you meant international units (IU). This could have serious implications if anyone were able to get their hands on 800 milligrams. Please print a correction in your column.
    DEAR READER: I would like to thank you for pointing out my error. I did, indeed, mean to use international units rather than milligrams.
    I apologize for any confusion this may have caused my readers. Vitamin D, while necessary to life, can be dangerous in high doses. I urge everyone to discuss all medications, prescription, herbal, OTC or otherwise, with his or her physician before use to ensure the proper dosage and make sure it will not interact with any other medications.
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