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Old 10-26-2005, 06:03 PM   #1
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False Negative on Biopsy

How common is it to have a false negative on a needle biopsy of the lung? My mom has been going through tests, including a bronchoscopy, a needle biopsy, and a PET scan, over the last two months and they still don't know anything. Her needle biopsy came up negative, but the PET scan is showing lung cancer. The lung specialist thinks it is cancer, and he thinks the biopsy might be showing a false negative.

Does it normally take this long to be diagnosed? And how common are false negative biopsy results?

 
Old 10-27-2005, 05:06 AM   #2
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Re: False Negative on Biopsy

Hello, it is my understanding that a needle biopsy might not show cancer cells because there was not enough tissue to check or the tissue collected simply didn't contain cancer cells. A PET scan is supposed to be the deciding factor. I hope treatment is started soon. By the way, my small cell lung cancer is in remission at the present time because mine was caught before it got too advanced. My prayers are with you all.

 
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Old 10-27-2005, 10:20 AM   #3
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Re: False Negative on Biopsy

My husband had two biopsy's ,one a bronscopy,one needle biopsy both were false negative.
A PET scan is indeed a definative tool for dx of cancer in the body.
I know the frustration of waiting for results.
I would recommend asking the Dr to do another biopsy,you need to know what kind of cancer you're dealing with so you can recieve the right treatment for the cancer.
I wouldn't hestate.
God Bless You I will pray for your family

Karen44
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Old 10-29-2005, 07:35 AM   #4
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Re: False Negative on Biopsy

Yes, the doctor does want to do another biopsy. If possible, he wants her to see a thoracic surgeon about a surgical biopsy. They may not be able to operate because of her age and her emphysema. They are having her take lung function tests next week to check that. My mother is 74 years old, so I don't know if surgery will be an option with all those considerations.

If they can't do the surgery, what other choices does she have for a definitive diagnosis? She's already had 2 CT scans, a bronchoscopy (negative), needle biopsy (negative), and a PET scan. This just seems to be dragging on and on.

 
Old 10-30-2005, 03:37 PM   #5
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Re: False Negative on Biopsy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Songdiva
Yes, the doctor does want to do another biopsy. If possible, he wants her to see a thoracic surgeon about a surgical biopsy. They may not be able to operate because of her age and her emphysema. They are having her take lung function tests next week to check that. My mother is 74 years old, so I don't know if surgery will be an option with all those considerations.

If they can't do the surgery, what other choices does she have for a definitive diagnosis? She's already had 2 CT scans, a bronchoscopy (negative), needle biopsy (negative), and a PET scan. This just seems to be dragging on and on.
-----------------------------------------

Hi...do you know that an active infection will show up looking like cancer on a PET scan? How large is your mother's mass and how quickly is it growing?

sincerely.................Tiz.
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Old 11-05-2005, 02:05 PM   #6
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Re: False Negative on Biopsy

I don't know how large it is...my brother went with her to the last appointment to talk to the thoracic surgeon, and all he said was it was a "moderate" size...whatever that means. So far no one has said anything about it growing or not.

Do you mean they could be doing all this testing on her for nothing????

 
Old 11-07-2005, 11:34 AM   #7
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Re: False Negative on Biopsy

Quote:
Do you mean they could be doing all this testing on her for nothing????
I would rather be safe than sorry and have all the tests to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that no cancer cells are present!!

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Old 11-11-2005, 05:34 AM   #8
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Re: False Negative on Biopsy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Songdiva
I don't know how large it is...my brother went with her to the last appointment to talk to the thoracic surgeon, and all he said was it was a "moderate" size...whatever that means. So far no one has said anything about it growing or not.

Do you mean they could be doing all this testing on her for nothing????
Hi..no, I don't think they're doing all the testing on your Mom for nothing, if they can find out what the mass is without endangering her health, that's good. But at her age and having emphysema, I just don't want her rushed into surgery the way a surgeon and MD tried to do me for a lung nodule I have. I'm 55 but have severe emphysema, lung surgery isn't easy even on a healthy person. I had a bronchoscopy but they couldn't reach the nodule, a needle biopsy is more of a risk than I want to take and surgery is way too high of risk, at this time. My pulmonologist said my nodule ACTS like squamous cell cancer and that that kind is so slow growing that I'd be more likely to die years from now from some other cause before that kind of cancer grew large enough to give me any symptoms. At your Mom's age that MIGHT be the same in her case too and if so the trauma of surgery would be something she might not want to go thru.

I'm NOT saying she shouldn't do a surgery, but I did want you to know that active fungal and bacterial infections can and DO look like cancer on a PET scan so you have to be careful. If her mass is an OLD infection it shouldn't look like cancer on the PET scan, but if her mass is SMALL the PET isn't always accurate in diagnosing what a nodule or mass is.

In Iowa we are allowed to have copies of all our medical records, you can call and ask for copies of your Mom's scan reports so you can find out the size of her mass and other facts about what the doctors are basing their decisons on.
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Old 11-11-2005, 05:43 AM   #9
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Re: False Negative on Biopsy

also.....she's probably already had blood tests and sputum tests...those two simple tests can show cancer cells, but can also come out false-negative. But if you do them and they come out positive, at least then you know what you're dealing with before you go in for a surgical biopsy. A surgical biopsy is still lung surgery, please read up on that. The spirometer tests your Mom had done, if she had the DLCO one done, the lower the % of that number the more trouble she might have with surgery.
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Old 11-11-2005, 05:58 AM   #10
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Re: False Negative on Biopsy

also.....she's probably already had blood tests and sputum tests...those two simple tests can show cancer cells, but can also come out false-negative. But if you do them and they come out positive, at least then you know what you're dealing with before you go in for a surgical biopsy. A surgical biopsy is still lung surgery, please read up on that. The spirometer tests your Mom had done, if she had the DLCO one done, the lower the % of that number the more trouble she might have with surgery.
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...........Tiz.

 
Old 11-11-2005, 05:59 AM   #11
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Re: False Negative on Biopsy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Songdiva
I don't know how large it is...my brother went with her to the last appointment to talk to the thoracic surgeon, and all he said was it was a "moderate" size...whatever that means. So far no one has said anything about it growing or not.

Do you mean they could be doing all this testing on her for nothing????
Hi..no, I don't think they're doing all the testing on your Mom for nothing, if they can find out what the mass is without endangering her health, that's good. But at her age and having emphysema, I just don't want her rushed into surgery the way a surgeon and MD tried to do me for a lung nodule I have. I'm 55 but have severe emphysema, lung surgery isn't easy even on a healthy person. I had a bronchoscopy but they couldn't reach the nodule, a needle biopsy is more of a risk than I want to take and surgery is way too high of risk, at this time. My pulmonologist said my nodule ACTS like squamous cell cancer and that that kind is so slow growing that I'd be more likely to die years from now from some other cause before that kind of cancer grew large enough to give me any symptoms. At your Mom's age that MIGHT be the same in her case too and if so the trauma of surgery would be something she might not want to go thru.

I'm NOT saying she shouldn't do a surgery, but I did want you to know that active fungal and bacterial infections can and DO look like cancer on a PET scan so you have to be careful. If her mass is an OLD infection it shouldn't look like cancer on the PET scan, but if her mass is SMALL the PET isn't always accurate in diagnosing what a nodule or mass is.

In Iowa we are allowed to have copies of all our medical records, you can call and ask for copies of your Mom's scan reports so you can find out the size of her mass and other facts about what the doctors are basing their decisons on.
__________________
...........Tiz.

 
Old 11-13-2005, 09:29 AM   #12
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Re: False Negative on Biopsy

Well, when she spoke to the thoracic surgeon he already pretty much ruled out the surgery. He referred her to another doctor to do another procedure...some kind of endoscopy, into her esophagus to try and get lymph tissue to biopsy. As far as I know, she hasn't had sputum testing yet. I know they did blood work on her a while back, but the doctor's said that came back ok.

She goes tomorrow for the endoscopy procedure, and I know they're also going to do more blood work too.

 
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