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Question about inconclusive test results

liverpoolgirl's picture
liverpoolgirl
Posts: 44
Joined: Jun 2005

I am my husbands caregiver who has CRC so I usually go straight to the CRC discussions, wel I have a question for Lung Cancer Patients, my mother in law is going through many tests, she has had 2-regular x-rays, 1-CT Scan, Bronchoscopy (sp) and a needle biopsy, she is also scheduled for a PET Scan next week. WEll all tests coming back inconclusive...... I think they have an idea whats going on but not saying much. I am being hopeful that is not Lung Cancer, but being familiar with cancer treatment for my husband, these test make me think they are just trying to see what type of cancer she has. Any suggestions from all you Lung Cancer Survivors out there. One more thing the past few weeks her ankles have swelled up really bad, and the doctor said he does not want to treat that at this time as it could be related to whatever is going on in her lungs. Sorry this is so long, but from past experience on the CRC discussion all survivors of this beast are sometime more informative than the doctors. Keep up the good fight, this beast can be beaten
Debbie
aka the English Chick

Plymouthean's picture
Plymouthean
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Debbie.
I am a five year survivor of non-small cell lung cancer. I was diagnosed, from initial chest x-ray, CT scan, bronchoscopy, etc., in four working days. I don't know, because I'm not a doctor, but your mother-in-law's doctors seem, to me, to be dragging this out. When I had my bronchoscopy, the doctor took a tissue sample and a photograph, among other tests. The photo confirmed the tumor and it's size and location. The tissue samples were immediately sent to pathology, and we had results in one day. My first PET scan was well into my evaluation, - perhaps four weeks. My understanding of the PET scan was to determine the presence of any other cancers in my body. I doubt if a PET scan determines type.
The doctors will not give patient information to other than the patient without written consent. That may be where you are having an information block. You will have to determine if you are "in the loop", and if not, why not. If you are in the loop, I think it's time to ask questions, and possibly seek a second opinion. (always a good idea, anyway.) Please keep us posted.

ptdprod
Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2006

My wife was diganosed with Lung Cancer In Feb. We too had the chest X-Ray and CT Scan.. However skipped the Bronchoscopy (sp) and a needle biopsy, given the tumor had engulf the entire upper lob of her right lung. It was pretty obvious this was cancer even though we didn't want to face up to it. However what I can say is our Pulmonary Doct did go the distance to be sure it wasn't TB or something else by running a full scan of blood tests and the PET scan.

However, once he had a 90% confidence level we went straight to surgery. It turned out not hesiating was the right thing to do as the tumor had grown 2 cm in the course of the 4 weeks of testing.

We are now dealing with soft tissue Non-Small Cell Cancer as a aftermath of the tumor.

If your doctors are of the same quality as ours I would say they are just doing their deligence to be sure how best to treat the cancer if this is what your Mother-in-Law is facing.

Are you attending doctor meetings with Mum? I supect not if you are caring for your Husband.

I can say if some-one other then your mom-in-law is not going to the appoitments likley the right questions are not being asked. Thus the lack of information.

It a new age of medical treatment. Doctors are require to provide answers to questions. The Challenge is knowing what to ask!

We purchased a portable recorder and ask permission to record doctor/patient sessions. I am always suprised to learn what I missed during the discussions with the doctors while reviewing the recordings.

I would not let your mum-in-law go into denial as this could delay much needed treatment. I'd also say push the doctors to finish up the testing as quickly as possible getting to the root cause and proper treatment as fast as possible. This critical to survival.

All too often there is too much delay between diagnoses and treatment for many reasons many of which the Patient has control of.

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