My boyfriend had a PET scan after an x-ray which showed enlarged lymph nodes in the left lung. Obviously, the PET scan also showed this because they have now called for a needle biopsy next week. My question--can these biopsies ever turn out all right. Do they really know it's cancer and they're not saying at this point? Isn't this what the PET scan is supposed to show. I'm not sure I trust them and communication has not been good. I should mention that he only started these tests not because anything was wrong but because he was volunteering for a study at a cancer research center.
Re: Needle Biopsy
the needle biopsy will tell them for sure. right now they may have suspicsions but they will confirm it with the needle biopsy. it could turn out not to be cancerous...but it is good that you are finding out for sure. if you have any concerns and feel communication is not good. you can choose to have a second opinion. which probably wouldnt be a bad idea. good luck to him........
Enlarged lymph nodes vs "nodules"
Can someone clarify the difference for me between enlarged lymph nodes in the lung and "saw a nodule"?
Shocked and Scared
We went for my boyfriend's needle biopsy of the supraclavicular lymph nodes today--doctor not very encouraging after PET scan and spiral CT. Enlarged lymph nodes under rib cage and then both left and right supraclavicular so that's why they took the biopsy from there. Doctor said don't know if it's lung cancer or maybe lymphoma. I wasn't prepared for that. He has no symptoms. This was found on a fluke. Just please tell me this--he said the lymph nodes were quite large--is it the bigger they are, the better the chance at malignancy or could there be another reason? I am not good at this having just gone through both of my parents' cancer deaths. The doc said they (the nodes) lit up on the PET scan so---if they "light" up greatly is that better chance of malignancy or do all lymph nodes "light" up greatly even if it is not malignancy? It is 2007--no one should have to go through this in this time. Any other illness but cancer. You can handle any other illness but this.
Re: Shocked and Scared
Hi Bovine- From what I have experienced, a lymph node greater than 1cm is considered abnormal- not necessarily malignant. The lymph nodes play their role by filtering infection thereby becoming enlarged. A supraclavicular lymph node greated than .5cm is considered abnormal. My right supraclavicular was malignant at 2.8cm and eventually resected because it was compressing my carodid artery.
PET scans measure metabolic activity using an injected fructose type of chemical. Those areas that "light" up may indicate unusually active metabolic uptake and possibly cancer sites.
This is information that I have learned as I travel on this path. I'm not professing to it's accuracy. Only, that I have been living with stage 4 NSCLC and trying my best to negotiate through various radiation and chemotherapies. There is good reason to be hopeful!!!!
I wish you the best... Tom
Re: Shocked and Scared
Thank you, Tom. I appreciate having someone respond to my questions. I know I shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have the definitive answers but, as I said, I've been through this twice in the last 6 years and I know you're supposed to take one day and one step at a time but I can't seem to control this. That, and the doctor looked right at me and said "well, malignancy has to be at the top of the list". He asked if I had questions and I peppered him with questions but there's a limit to what they want to answer before they start thinking "oh, this one is going to be a real pain".
My best to you....
No Symptoms but still......
May I ask if any of you were diagnosed without first having any symptoms? My boyfriend's enlarged lymph nodes were found by accident--we will have the results of the biopsy this week-end but I'm sure the doctor already knows from the PET scan. He didn't give me much hope that it was anything BUT cancer; just what kind--lung or lymphoma. PET scan does not show other organs involved but mediastinal and hilar lymph nodes and supraclavicular. He emphasized that they were quite large and, I think, that was his code word to me to know ahead of time. He did "mention" that whatever it is is probably early and I'm afraid I insulted him by saying "so what? That's just longer to know since cures are not available in 2007". I was angry and still am and anger is the only way I can be motivated. From my understanding, having these lymph nodes be involved in a straight line this way more than likely would not be infection driven. Still, there are not any outward symptoms--yet.
Lymphoma or Lung
I will try one more time to get some replies to my questions. What are the odds that it is either lymphoma or lung cancer if the medistinal and hilar lymph nodes are enlarged in the chest and both sides of the supraclavicular lymph nodes. No other symptoms at all. Was treated several years ago fro H pylori. Perhaps it didn't eradicate it. Biopsy not back yet but was given the impression that it could be either one of these cancers. PET scan apparently did not reveal any other organs involved--at least that is what the doctor said.
Re: Lymphoma or Lung
[QUOTE=Bovine;2763143]I will try one more time to get some replies to my questions. What are the odds that it is either lymphoma or lung cancer if the medistinal and hilar lymph nodes are enlarged in the chest and both sides of the supraclavicular lymph nodes. No other symptoms at all. Was treated several years ago fro H pylori. Perhaps it didn't eradicate it. Biopsy not back yet but was given the impression that it could be either one of these cancers. PET scan apparently did not reveal any other organs involved--at least that is what the doctor said.[/QUOTE]
Hi. I'm sorry you're not getting your questions answered... I don't know anything at all about lymphoma... but I know PET scans can show active infections as if they are cancer... any active infection will "light up" the same way cancer does.
Another thing I know is that ALL doctors are trained to expect the worst when it comes to nodules and masses, they say "until proven otherwise, it's cancer", so maybe that's why they're being so "grim" with you and making you feel like they think it HAS to be cancer. Try to be patient, hopefully it's not and the doctors will find out soon what it is.
I'm sorry I can't help you more...............Tiz.
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