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Still No Diagnosis

Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2011

Hello All,

I am desperate the help my mom. She has a mass on left lung and recurring pleural effusion on the right. In July on this year she had pulmonary embolus in both lungs. In the course of treatment, a small mass was seen on left lung via X-ray, CT scan and PET scan. Pleural effusion was drained twice via thoracentisis. The fluid showed no cancer cells and was classified as an exudative pleural effusion. At that point her Pulmonologist stated " that cancer was highly likely" and at the "top of his list" when asked about the recurrence of the effusion.

My mom was referred to a thoracic surgeon. This surgeon required cardiac clearance prior to surgery because of past heart issues. After many tests, the placement of two stents and waiting for a month to pass to take Plavix, she was deemed "cleared but high risk". This was mid November, about 4 months after the possibility of Cancer was mentioned the first time.

Surgery was scheduled for December 9th. Right after Thanksgiving my mom has severe abdominal pain along with other GI symptoms. These have been recurring since July as well. She currently has been in the hospital for 12 days. No diagnosis for GI issues found after extensive testing. Being in the hospital so long has weakened my mom's overall health and she decided to delay the lung biopsy and Pleurodesis.

I feel like we are back to square one. Is a biopsy truly the only way to definitively diagnose Cancer? A treatment plan for the growing mass on her left lung is contingent on a diagnosis of the effusion on the right.

Any guidance is greatly appreciated.


Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1576
Joined: May 2009

Sorry Nicole, I wish I could be more helpful but the biopsy is the only way to definitively diagnose cancer.

Keeping your mother in my thoughts and wishing her the best so she can get the biopsy soon.

Please keep us posted so we will know how she is doing. We care.


sleepless in jersey
Posts: 185
Joined: Feb 2011

Im so sorry your going through this Nicole!

My Mom was diagnosed 1/11 NSCLC she had brain mets, had brain surg.(thats where the biopsy came from). Over the summer she had recurring pleural effusion that was neg cancer (still dont understand how you have lung ca and the fluid is neg)and as EPE just like your moms. Than had to go in for the pleurdesis of both lungs seperet times.

I know it is very difficult when the Doc's just keep ordering tests and have NO answers, its very frustrating. The only thing that I could suggest is stay on top of them, consistantly ask qustions, poss. ask the nurses if your Mom was in this situation who would you want for your mom (The nurses see first hand the Doc's)?

Also there is another site that I also was recommended to www.cancergrace.org they are Oncologists who started the site and respond in everytime for me. Give them a try?

I wish I could help you more...Good Luck to you and your Mom.
God Bless

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