CSN Login
Members Online: 2

You are here

questions

kerryr
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2009

i had a x ray found 4 mass 2 in both lungs only 52....was a smoker but quit 3 weeks ago...then a ct scan...then biopsy needle....no cancer cells....now another biopsy down my nose or throat....then the doctor says if no cancer cells...another biosy open me up....why so many ? why not look for something else ?

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

Hello there.

They found a mass in my lung measuring 7cm x 6cm. They did a needle biopsy which was inconclusive as all they pulled out was dead tissue. They did a broncoscopy which revealed no cancer but still gave no answers so they wouldn't rule out cancer. They did an EBUS which I am told is the most definitive test for cancer. This also revealed no cancer. I then had a PET scan, and once again no cancer.

They thought it was an infection, then they thought it was parasites but they couldn't figure it out. They were going to do further testing and try to treat it with meds. But then I got very sick w/pneumonia so they removed the upper right lobe. The path reports revealed a serious bacterial infection that was destroying the lung. I had this surgery on 9/4 and I am still recovering.

Getting back to your question about why so many tests. Very good question. When they told me the EBUS is the most definitive test I asked why didn't we do this in the first place. They didn't give a straight answer other than to say it's the protocol to do the other tests first. I suggest you should ask about having an EBUS, as it's a lot less invasive than the open lung biopsy. Hopefully it will be negative too and your illness can be treated w/meds. In my case it was too late to treat with meds as too much damage was done, but I hope it plays out better for you and you won't need surgery.

Good luck and please let us know how it turns out.

kerryr
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2009

so you never had open lung biopsy....did you get the pneumonia shot and flu shot

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

Generally speaking--With the open lung biopsy they take a wedge of the lung, test it for cancer, then if it is positive they removed the rest of the lobe. If it's negative then you only lose that wedge of the lung used for testing.

In my case it was different as they had already made the decision to take the lobe. I was so sick from the infection and there was no time left to treat it with meds. I have never been so sick in my life and I knew that mass was poisoning me. I was very afraid this condition would take my life so I was happy to have the surgery ASAP when they recommended it.

Once they removed the lobe they did check once more for cancer and it was negative, just a severe infection. So while I did not have the open lung biopsy per se, I did have the exact same testing on the mass that you would have in the open lung biopsy. In both cases they are testing the mass.

After the surgery I spent a week in the hospital and they pumped me full of antibiotics. The pneumonia was gone in no time. I haven't had a flu shot yet but I checked with my doctor and he recommends it, so I'm having one on Tuesday.

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

Get the pneumonia shot too. I know it is usually recommended for folks 60 and up, but it protects against several types of pneumonia for younger folks too. If you get one before 60, they recommend a booster in about 10 years or another shot at 60. After a coworker missed a month and a half of work due to pneumonia, I went and got mine. It was all of ten dollars. Compared to lung surgery or missing a month or more of work, that's almost free!

C. Abbott

kerryr
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2009

the doctor says my mass 4 of then 2 in both lungs are not operable...i really dont know what means except if it is cancer they will have to treat and if not they will haveto treat

Deb1958
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2009

Hello im new to site.I just wanted to know what you go thru when they do lung surgery.I have a spot on lung And Im going to have surgery.Is it a bad surgery to go thru?Do they have you lay inbed on ventilator for two days or do they get you up?I hope you get well.Take care,Deb1958.

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

Hi kerry, my pnuemonia was actually caused by the mass so a pneumonia shot would not have spared me the surgery. I probably had the mass for a very long time but the pneumonia came long after the mass was already found. However I don't want pneumonia again so I will look into that, thanks.

Hi Deb1958, welcome to this board. You said you have a spot on the lung so I assume they are doing the wedge biopsy? If that's the case and if you test negative for cancer you will probably just lose the wedge which is a lot easier than losing an entire lobe. If you do have cancer (God forbid) they will take the lobe.

Here is my experience after losing the lobe. I awoke from surgery on a ventilator but this is not common practice, I am told. I was only on the ventilator about 30 minutes before they took it out. I wanted to pull it out myself but my hands were restrained. I also had 2 chest tubes and it was a few days before those were removed. I am told they will get you up the next day after surgery but it seems like it was 2 days later they got me up for my first walk. I was very drugged so my memory of the first day is foggy, but I'm pretty sure I wasn't up that day. After that they encouraged me to walk as much as I felt like and to sit in my chair instead of laying in bed. I was hospitalized for 7 days.

You asked if it's a bad surgery. I don't know your experience or what you can compare it with but for me it was the most difficult surgery of my life. I do not mean to scare you, there are a lot of good pain drugs. My mother calls me the impatient patient because I want to be well NOW!! :-) I am now 5 weeks out of surgery and I'm still not able to jog or work out but I am able to walk 2 miles a day, very slowly. I get out of breath easily and I am still have trouble lifting anything over 10 pounds. I'm lucky to have a husband to help out.

While this surgery has been no cakewalk I must say I have no regrets. The mass was poisoning me and I cannot tell you how relieved I am to have it out. So physically I'm still recovering and have some discomfort, but mentally I feel like I've won the lottery.

If you have any more questions I will be happy to answer if I can.

Subscribe to Comments for "questions"