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How long does it take to diagnose lung cancer?

mimi1108
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2005

Hi...2 weeks ago, docotors found a 1.5cm nodule on my dad's left lower lobe on his chest x-ray. The nodle was not there from his previous year's x-ray. Radiologist suggested a CT and PET scan. PET scan showed abnormally high activity from the nodule, meaning it is most likely malignant. And they also found another nodule on his right mid neck (possible metastasis according to radiologist). Dad went in for a CT scan for his neck two days ago.... We are so anxious to hear from the doctors... How long does it noramlly take to to make a definitive diagnosis? I hope it won't take too long so treatments can be started asap. My mom and I are so worried... I have just moved away from them early this month for a new job.... now I feel so guilty that I cannot be there for him. I am their only daughter. Thank you in advance for you reply.

crot1998
Posts: 67
Joined: Sep 2005

HI there. My father was diagnosed in August and within a few weeks had the option for treatment, we waited an extra few weeks so that he can be part of a clinical trial. There are two kinds of lung cancer, small cell and non small cell and that needs to be determined first. The only way to do that is by biopsy. Before treatment they will want to do a bone scan and head scan to make sure there isn't any cancer there. Hope this helps.

angelu
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2005

Sometimes it can take quite a while to make a definitive diagnosis. I'll tell you my Dad's story. Aug 31 my Dad coughed up a little bit of blood. He immediately went to his doctor who ordered chest x-rays. This revealed a spot on his upper left lobe. They ordered CT scans which definitely showed a 5 cm tumor. Within a week, he had a bronchoscopy which showed nothing so the next week he had a needle aspiration of the tumor. A few days after that, he had a PET scan. When we went to the doctor to get the results, they diagnosed him with squamous cell NSCLC with possible metastasis to the liver. This diagnosis was made on Sept 23. One week after that he had a needle biopsy of the liver which was inconclusive, so the following week he had another needle biopsy of the liver. This test showed that the cancer had not spread to the liver. These results were given to him on Oct 3. So you can see, it can take a long time. My Dad just had his upper left lobe removed Oct 15 and he is recovering very well. He starts chemo Nov 29. I hope and pray he doesn't have to go through too much. This is such a hard time that you are going through. I spent the whole first month of this just crying all the time (not around my Dad of course). Once you know what you are facing (stage, kind of cancer, treatments available), everyone starts to feel a lot better. I think at first you just feel so out of control, that you can't take this disease away from your Father. I know this is how I felt. I hope your Father gets a diagnosis soon. God bless.

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