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FINE NEEDLE ASPIRATION OF NECK MASS

ditto1
Posts: 646
Joined: Mar 2012

Im scheduled for a Fine Needle Aspiration tommorrow, I searched the Super Thread but not able to get what I was looking for. Although it looks to be a simple process based on Cancer Websites, just thought I would reach out to the people in the know. Did everyone get a Biopsy? I assume for the Staging it is necessary. Once its done will I then know the makeup and what the necessary procedures would be/ surgery, RADS , Chemo etc. Any FYI would be appreciated....

ratface's picture
ratface
Posts: 1262
Joined: Aug 2009

You are at the very beginning. Relax because it will seem like slow motion around this point. It's a waiting game for the next few days. The actual FNA is very doable and simple in theory, stick a needle in there and try to snag a bit of tissue. The entry area will be numbed and then they literaly stick a thick gauge needle in there and dig around. You can feel the digging but not in a painful way. You will know something is scraping around. A band-aid and your done. A biopsy will more than likely follow either way.

osmotar's picture
osmotar
Posts: 967
Joined: Jul 2011

G'Morning Ditto,

When my ENT saw the nodule on my neck, he sent me for a fine needle asperation, in the hospital they drained all the fluid, the results came back inconclusive, or nothing found, the process itself is relatively simple.. The ENT then sent me for the PET scan, after those results he said he was going to remove my tonsils , he only removed my rt tonsil, at the follow-up after surgery is when he told me I had SCC. He then made the referrel to my chemo oncologist who outlined the chemo regime I would have, and that office also set up the appointment with the rad onco, I was lucky they both work for the same group. I didn't have to have any other surgeries than the tonsil removal.

Linda

ditto1
Posts: 646
Joined: Mar 2012

Thanks for the quick responses. Ironically I guess I am at the beginning, although I had a PET Scan and ENT did say Base of Tongue / multiple lympnodes, I am now a month into this since lump discovered on Sonagram, Unless ENT can get me in quicker next appt with the Treating Team is the 30th of April. I assume the FNA should show if its cancerous although I guess thats a given by now, but it will show what STAGE?? For the last few weeks I kind of just pretended it was not an issue because Im physically not feeling a lot, ear ache, slight sore thoart, nasally sounding, but not in pain. BUT NOW I just really want to find out what is going on, the prognosis, treatment plan etc. So many of my fears have been reduced by reading everyone's stories, I feel Im ready to get on with this journey. Just concerned wasted time is Cancers Best Friend.

longtermsurvivor's picture
longtermsurvivor
Posts: 1845
Joined: Mar 2010

for awhile it seems like things are in slow motion. Someone here, I think TonsilDad, had a wait of almost 4 months between start of workup and definitive treatment. That's excessive, but many of us go a month or two. It just takes awhile to get the train up to speed. Then treatment goes pretty quickly. FNA may or may not produce a diagnosis. It is done so that, if it is positive, they can move on to the next step in your workup/treatment and not have to be more aggressive about biopsy. If it is negative, you will need a more definitive procedure, perhaps open biopsy or removal of the node. It is important they get a tissue diagnosis before treatment.

Best to you.

Pat

dkcoffey's picture
dkcoffey
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2012

Linda,

I'm just getting started with everything. First I'll tell you my story...
I got really sick around the first week of March 2012. I noticed a large lump show up out of no where on the left side of my neck. Went to the ER they said I had pharangytis, upper respitory infection, & sinus infection. Put me on a Zpack, didn't help, went to see my reg physician, she put me on Penicillin, about 1 1/2 weeks later still no change, I started feeling really bad (no energy) and went back to ER. They decided to do a MRI. They told me I had excess tissue I was born with that became inflammed because I was sick. Sent me to a head, neck, throat specialist. He confirmed what they told me in the ER. (BTW..It's now the end of March) HNT specialist scheduled me for surgery April 11. Everyone reassured me that everything would be completely fine. Had my surgery, big cut on the side of my neck (no big deal, sucks but it's ok), stayed overnight in the hospital. I went in on April 18 one week later to have stitches removed and was informed I have cancer. HPV+ I went to my appt alone because I just thought it was going to be a quick visit & I would be all better & good to go. I felt like time stopped & I was going to pass out. I had the doctor call my husband because I was not processing everything I was being told at that moment. Anyway the doctor thoroughly checked my mouth and my throat. He couldn't find anything. BTW...I don't have tonsils, they were removed when I was a child. He then gave me 2 options, either put me under again so he could go in & check more thoroughly or get a PET scan. I opted to do the PET scan first and that was also what he suggested I do first. I had my PET scan today April 24. They did mid thigh up to my skull. I'm expecting to get results this Thursday when I see the onocologist. I am very hopeful that it's not too bad and I'm also trying not to think about it.
About me: I am 33 years old, female, married 4 kids (6-11yrs), never been a smoker only tried it a few times when I was a teen, I only drink very very occasionally, no drugs, my only addiction is food, I weigh about 240. I run my own business (certified in home childcare)
Symptoms: over the last few months I havent felt quite right. Very tired... It's weird but my throat hasn't really been sore at all, I just have to clear my throat a lot or I start sounding very hoarse. Sometimes I sound hoarse no mater what I do. It comes and goes. Large lump on left side of my neck about the size of a golf ball that popped up very very quickly. Left jaw hurts some & I have pain that comes & goes in my left ear. I think that's it.

After reading on here what people go through with chemo & radiation it sounds a little scary! I have a feeling that I have a very bumpy road ahead of me. I'm very anxious to find out what stage I'm in. Any thoughts from the info I've provided? If I am in one of the later stages is it still very curable? Does this type of cancer spread quickly? Did or does anyone else feel really tired some days? Today I had a good day but some days I feel so tired. Is that normal?

Any advice or thoughts for my future is greatly appreciated! Thank you
Kristy

tommyodavey's picture
tommyodavey
Posts: 405
Joined: Nov 2011

Kristy,

It appears your post got lost in the shuffle. May I suggest you just copy and paste the text into a new topic thread devoted just to you.

Being diagnosed with cancer is the scariest thing one can go through. You need lots of support from your family and friends. We too will support you the best we can via lots of information and positive posts to help you deal with this. Join the group!

Sounds like you've already been going through quite a lot before they even found the problem. Not a real fair deal but no one here deserved what they got.

By now you should have received the diagnosis of the PET scan. Care to share?

Hope it turned out in your favor and minimal treatment is the course of action. If not, just know that head and neck cancers have a very good record of being cured. And that's the attitude we all take. Believing we will be cured and will go on with our lives once the treatment is over is the only way to think.

Stay positive and let us know what happened.

Tommy

Kent Cass's picture
Kent Cass
Posts: 1753
Joined: Nov 2009

Had such a office biopsy done on my very first visit to the ENT office, and it came back inconclusive. Dr mighta missed the lymph, for all I know. Surgical biopsy 1 1/2-weeks later did get a Positive result. Was not as painfull as one might imagine.

kcass

RushFan's picture
RushFan
Posts: 218
Joined: Aug 2010

My ENT was suspicious of a swollen lymph node. Unfortunately or fortunately...squamous cell carcinoma was not identified by the needle biopsy by local pathologist. So, my ENT removed the lymph node and sent samples off to Mayo clinic. Mayo identified SCC.

I was then refered to MD Anderson here in Houston. In my case, MD Anderson would have surely identified the SCC and treated first ( I had rads and chemo ) and then determined surgery. As it was, My ENT noted that the node had extracapsular extentions...because of this, MDACC recomended the added chemo to the radiation treatment.

I've been extremely fortunate. I'm two years out of treatments and had my latest scans etc. last week. NED. Eat pretty much what I want, taste is mostly back to normal, energy is through the roof, gained back 30 of the 35 lbs I lost and strength training going very well.

All the best to you and yours,
Chuck.

RushFan's picture
RushFan
Posts: 218
Joined: Aug 2010

Dbl post, sorry.

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 4035
Joined: Mar 2012

My ENT numbed the site, and then he stuck several needles in (one at a time), to snag tissue from different areas of the node. It didn't take very long...it wasn't painfull...like RF said, you can feel them poking around for the sample tissue, but by "feel" it's only the pressure, not any pain.

At the rate my treatment is progressing (everything is still on hold, till this lung issue is cleared up), I'm thinking we'll be starting real treatment at about the same time...

p

ditto1
Posts: 646
Joined: Mar 2012

Hey, P51, was thinking about ya, glad to see your post, thats what I love about this site, you think of it, they answer it. Thanks to all of you again, and to LongTermSurvivor thank you, your reference to time gave me some peace of mind today. Its amazing the help you folks offer... God Bless

LeoS2323
Posts: 147
Joined: Mar 2012

Hey ditto hope you are ok

I had an FNA with ultrasound early on in my workup - mine was inconclusive too. They took matter from the centre of the lump which revealed only dead cells. This was actually the necrotic centre of the secondary cancer.

It's not particularly unpleasant - no more than an injection or something. It seems quite a few FNAs are inconclusive though so try not to hang too much on it, you may need further tests before a definitive diagnosis.

I hope it all goes as well as possible though, and you do get some sort of definitive news though my friend.

All the best

Leo

jtl's picture
jtl
Posts: 429
Joined: Sep 2011

My ENT did not want to do a FNA because in his experience they were too often inconclusive. Something to do with the lymph nodes being too homogeneous. The surgical removal was very easy and he got to do a visual on the surrounding nodes which appeared to be normal. Good Luck.
John

ditto1
Posts: 646
Joined: Mar 2012

Again thanks to all of you for your replies, heading to the Hospital now where the FNA will be performed. I dont know if this sounds silly, but I hope they find something conclusive so we can move on. But then again Be Careful What You Wish For....

tommyodavey's picture
tommyodavey
Posts: 405
Joined: Nov 2011

My case ended differently. My ENT wanted to do a FNA on my right lymph node but kept putting it off. She ended up biopsying the mass on my tongue instead and that came out positive. Then I was referred to the supposed best head and neck surgeon for the rest.

Between the PET scan and biopsy they had all they needed. It ended up being two positive nodes.

Let us know the results soon as you can.

Hoping for a happy dx,

Tommy

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 4035
Joined: Mar 2012

My FNA came back conclusive, and I was glad it did...sitting on the edge of my seat for another couple of weeks would have driven me up the wall...Sending good mojo, juju...and a bucket full of prayers and positive thoughts...

p

ratface's picture
ratface
Posts: 1262
Joined: Aug 2009

But I was still scheduled for biopsy. They have very little value in the long run but serve a temporary function.

ditto1
Posts: 646
Joined: Mar 2012

Well I made it thru the FNA, should know in a few days. Laying there while doing the procedure although not a big deal, I started practicing my Happy Place procedure, which seems to be something you all advised I would need from time to time going thru this. Good News my ENT called and the University Medical Center I will be going to on April 30th are arranging the PET Scan so I guess we should have all we need to know to get started hopefully early May... still alot of unknown so I cannot lie, still nervous until we do. My wife said I previously posted I had a PET scan, it was a CT Scan, Yes Dear...

Greend's picture
Greend
Posts: 678
Joined: Feb 2010

Wow my process went fairly fast. Swollen gland on rt side of neck. PA examined and recommended ENT evaluation two days later. He didn't waste time on a needle biopsy, he took a pair of snips and whacked off a part of my tonsil. This was on a Friday. On Tuesday I learned that any word ending in "OMA" is very very bad. The next Sat I had a two hole portimplanted and started treatments on Monday. At some point in this process I yelled "STOP", took a day and went to see a Dr friend to explain to me what all of this meant in english because too much data was coming at me too fast (this is why it is recommended a friend accompany you during visits). He assured me I was getting the best treatment (Cadillac Treatment his quote) so I proceeded on

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 4035
Joined: Mar 2012

with the PET scan coming...It's hard to keep the scans figured out, since there are 3 types that I know of, plus variations under each heading. I had the PET scan a month ago (ordered by the ENT), so didn't understand why a MRI again last week (ordered by the Oncologist)...didn't argue just wondering...then when I was there is was a MRI with...and without contrast....just the scanning part took 2 hours...then the CT done by the Rad-onc...lots of scanning going on here, thought I. Did get a kick out of your "yes, dear".. LOL.

Only a couple more weeks, ditto...and it's "hang on to your seat" time...

p

ditto1
Posts: 646
Joined: Mar 2012

your right, sent you a reply on one of the other blogs, cannot remember which one, you were posting your plans for the day... so in hopes you see this one or that one, just thinking and praying for ya daily. Good luck today, update us when you can...

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