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Pet Scan, soft tissue mass...

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Old 08-10-2004, 12:13 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Question Pet Scan, soft tissue mass...


Recently my friend underwent x-rays and testing which showed a 'soft tissue mass' between the lower trachea and lung edge. She's had shortness of breath and asthma in the past, and also suffers from GERD/acid reflux and shortness of breath with chest pain which was previously attributed to angina. She's 44 yrs old and a smoker.
After the 'mass' showed up on x-ray, she then underwent a PET scan which shows only the quarter sized mass previously found.

The doctor has yet to talk to us. All our info has at this point come from the nurse. The nurse has now told us they aren't sure what it is, and that my friend is to go to a lung specialist.

My question is: I thought that a PET scan was a diagnostic tool that would tell whether a spot was cancerous or not. Is the fact that the doctor hasn't said it's 'cancer' because it's probably not? The nurse did say that it's the only spot showing in my friends body.
We are so worried and the doctor isn't talking, explaining, or otherwise bothering himself too much other than to order the tests and refer to other doctors. Another nurse in the office told my friend, quote: "I'll tell you this much, you are my inspiration for quitting smoking." I find this whole experience unprofessional and nerve wracking. Cancer or not? Why aren't they telling us?
Any opinions at all appreciated.

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Old 08-11-2004, 01:35 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 167
janson536 HB User
Re: Pet Scan, soft tissue mass...

It is not possible to say from the PET image only if there is cancer or not. Bronchoscopy or other biopsy procedure will probably be necessary to obtain a part of tissue from that mass. Then, after microscopical investigation diagnosis will be made. At this point really nobody can say what it is. But I agree it's doctors duty to make himself clear. On the other hand, from experiance he maybe suspects something but he don't want to say anything before he is sure about it.

Last edited by janson536; 08-11-2004 at 01:43 AM.

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