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Thread: Can a CT Scan give wrong readings?

  1. #1
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    Can a CT Scan give wrong readings?

    My CT scan shows both lung with tiny to large spots of cancer. I feel just fine , no pain, not short of breath, no weight lose. Just hoping its wrong. Has any body gone through this?

  2. #2
    Administrator Top User pbj11's Avatar
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    Hi Les,

    The only way to know what it is for certain is a biopsy. My husband was loaded with spots all over both lungs, mediastinum, and one supra-clavicular node. Even after they lit up like Christmas tree lights in a PET scan, we refused to believe they were cancerous. We hoped for sarcoid. Once he had a wedge section biopsy, there was no denying it was cancer.

    Keep on the doctors to get a fine needle biopsy, so you know for sure. It's shocking, I know. We felt that he didn't have lung cancer until the doctors told us it was lung cancer.

    He was also fine up until the largest mass grew enough to block one of the main bronchial tubes. He had lost 18 lbs though. He even passed a treadmill test about 1 1/2 months prior to suddenly becoming short of breath.

    I'm sorry that you are going through this testing phase. Let's pray it is something else. It is maddening to not have the answers.

    God bless,
    PBJ
    Husband diagnosed with NSCLC Stage IV in 3/2005. Fought & lived over 2 1/2 years with multiple lines of treatment.

    Post describing our journey: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.ph...er=asc&start=0

    Left my embrace to live with our Heavenly Father in October of 2007 and now breathes with ease forever. I will miss this gentle, giving soul with the easy smile for the rest of my days, but have faith we will be together again. He's just getting a little break from me!

  3. #3
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    Hi Les; CT scans can show a lot of things but a doctor looks to read a CT the way he thinks is likely for you. Pbj shares her situation right and for me it was the opposite, it was was my profession along with the fact I never smoked that lead my first several doctors to believe that I had Sarcoidosis and told me I didn't have cancer. My cancer was spread all over but did not have large enough tumors to hit with a needle biopsy. 3 years later it took a bronchoscopy to prove that I did not have Sarcoidosis, but I did have lung cancer. At the same time I had blood clots in my lungs but they were not looking for them and they didn't see them, Later they did a scan to find them and they did. Then they were treated. Bottom line, doctors can only guess with there education, a biopsy proves it if they can get a piece of what they are looking for. PS, doctors are right only most times not always.
    Best of luck finding out
    Dan
    57 year old male, Diagnosed Nov. 9,2007 with NSCLC IV with Mets to the lymph's and brain and now my pancreas (9/1/11)
    Had full brain radiation treatment in Jan 08 treatments now every 3 weeks with Alimta, stopped taking Lovenox for clots, working full time
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9993

  4. #4
    Administrator Top User pbj11's Avatar
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    Agree Dano -- one can only hope to hit a spot with a fine needle biopsy or a broncoscopy. The latter didn't work to produce any cancer tissue, but did show calcified matter, which we already knew was there from years prior in x-rays. Never knew why they did a wedge section biopsy instead of a fine needle, because he did have one main mass.

    I believe CT's will differentiate between calcified (good) and non-calcified spots.

    I still can't believe they left you in the lurch without a diagnosis for so long Dano. You are one of such great faith and stand as a role model for all of us.

    PBJ
    Last edited by pbj11; 02-02-2011 at 07:57 PM.
    Husband diagnosed with NSCLC Stage IV in 3/2005. Fought & lived over 2 1/2 years with multiple lines of treatment.

    Post describing our journey: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.ph...er=asc&start=0

    Left my embrace to live with our Heavenly Father in October of 2007 and now breathes with ease forever. I will miss this gentle, giving soul with the easy smile for the rest of my days, but have faith we will be together again. He's just getting a little break from me!

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    Hello everyone,
    I had bronchoscopy & mediashnscopy biopsy done Feb 9 th still don't have results. The waiting is very frustrating. My gp says not to phone them for at least 10 days. Will post results.
    Les

  6. #6
    Top User maryaz's Avatar
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    Les, Sometimes the waiting game is almost worse than the treatments. I hope it all comes out in your favor. Did the GP do these tests. If not I wondered why he said to wait 10 days. I don't think it took that long for my husbands.
    Husband (year of birth 1941) dx'd 2008 NSCLC - Squamous Cell Carcinoma
    Chemo and Radiation Treatments together. Allergic reaction to Taxol & Taxotere.
    The Story 2008 to 1/2011: http://www.cancerforums.net/about9079.html

    2010/2011: Returned & spread to lower lumbar bone/marrow. Stage 4.
    Chemo & Radiation together. Allergic reaction to Erbitux. Chemo was only Navelbine.
    The Story continues 2/2011: Story continues 2/2011: http://tinyurl.com/68qpmym

  7. #7
    I will contribute to the subject with a situation I experienced 8 years ago.

    I am a mechanical engineer now, but when I finished school I was determined to be an air force pilot. So I went to HAFA (Hellenic Air Force Academy). Really tough training, lots of studying and very strict health regulation. Every year we had our annual full body scans and detailed checkups. I met a guy who had been diagnosed with brain cancer at age 20, and he was discharged from the academy on the grounds that he had cancer. He travelled to a health center in Paris to deal with his sickness, but as they found out there, he was healthy. He was misdiagnosed with cancer because he had igmoritis( I don't know if it's the right word in english), fluid gathered in head cavities, and the doctors misinterpreted the MRI results as tumors. It took him 3 years, a tremendous amount of money and effort and lots of courts to get accepted back in the academy. Finally he was discharged again for another lame excuse...Note that Hellenic Air Force hospitals are concidered the best hospitals in Greece and they are not open to public. They are only for HAF staff, and yet they did such a lousy mistake.
    So keep in mind that doctors make mistakes too.

    And yes, waiting is always worse than the treatment. When we found out my mother had cancer back in May 2010 we waited 2 months to get scheduled for surgery. When we were finally accepted into the hospital it took them 2 weeks to operate my mother. Everyday they came and told us "you are scheduled for tomorrow, first surgery of the day", and at noon they would cancel it .Can you even imagine the emotional stress??? Finally the surgeon who had our case went on a summer vacation(!!!!!!!!) and left us there without surgery. Finally an other surgeon from the hospital accepted our case and operated my mother the next day.

    Hope the best for you mate.

  8. #8
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    Hi Les,
    As a new member of this forum, I'm hoping the best for you. Let us know when you get the results, seems you should have them by now.

  9. #9
    Regular User 1Barbara's Avatar
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    Hi Les;

    I am so glad you brought this topic up! I am in exactly the same situation. The Dr's told me I had about 6months to 18 months to live last spring. Personally I am afraid to get a fine needle biop, as I was under the impression the lung could collapse, which causes a lot of anxiety for me. The Dr. also said chances of hitting a nodule, because they are to small, would be difficult.

    It has been in the last several months, I have periods to time that I find it difficult to breathe, but then
    they go away, go figure.

    Please keep in touch.

  10. #10
    Regular User 1Barbara's Avatar
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    Hi Les;

    I thought I would just drop in and see how you are feeling and doing today.

    Barb

  11. #11
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    Hello Barbara

    Just came from my Family Doctor. I asked him if I have cancer shouldn't I be feeling it already? He said no, thats how cancer works. I have no pain , have a good appettite a little low in energy department but that might be from stress. I'm also primarary care giver for my wife who needs 24/7 care as a result of a stroke 5 years ago.

    I will get my biopsy report tomorrow so will report on that when I get it.

  12. #12
    Administrator Top User pbj11's Avatar
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    Hi Les,

    Lung cancer is one of the so-called 'silent cancers.' That's why most are diagnosed at such late stage, because by the time there are any symptoms, it's pretty advanced. It's a lucky person that has it accidentally discovered in earlier stages.

    God bless you as you go for your report tomorrow. We'll be thinking of you. I'm sorry to hear that your family is already dealing with health issues. Life sure takes some odd twists and turns.

    Hugs,
    PBJ
    Husband diagnosed with NSCLC Stage IV in 3/2005. Fought & lived over 2 1/2 years with multiple lines of treatment.

    Post describing our journey: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.ph...er=asc&start=0

    Left my embrace to live with our Heavenly Father in October of 2007 and now breathes with ease forever. I will miss this gentle, giving soul with the easy smile for the rest of my days, but have faith we will be together again. He's just getting a little break from me!

  13. #13
    Top User maryaz's Avatar
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    Les, Good luck to you. We all have similar and yet different stories. I need more care than my husband does. Now he is the one with the stage 4 lung cancer and second time around and being knocked down by radiation and chemo. Without him, I would have to find other means of having some things done for me. I don't get around well, as my breathing is too bad. I have very severe stage COPD. Here is a case where words to describe our illness is not always the best ones. I have been this stage since first diagnosed in 2002. If not for wearing oxygen if I was doing well that day, you might not know I had it, until I got up to walk a ways.

    I can relate in some ways to you. I hope you get a good report, but get answers. Will be praying for you.
    Husband (year of birth 1941) dx'd 2008 NSCLC - Squamous Cell Carcinoma
    Chemo and Radiation Treatments together. Allergic reaction to Taxol & Taxotere.
    The Story 2008 to 1/2011: http://www.cancerforums.net/about9079.html

    2010/2011: Returned & spread to lower lumbar bone/marrow. Stage 4.
    Chemo & Radiation together. Allergic reaction to Erbitux. Chemo was only Navelbine.
    The Story continues 2/2011: Story continues 2/2011: http://tinyurl.com/68qpmym

  14. #14
    Regular User 1Barbara's Avatar
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    Hi Les;

    I am glad you got back to me.

    I can't imagine trying to support anyone with my Cancer....stress!..no doubt.

    You probably did not sleep that much last night.. be sure and tell me about your results.

    I am glad you choose a forum to belong to, as with my initial Cancer, forums helped me to ask the right
    questions, (to my Dr.) and gave me some alternatives with how to handle things, things my Dr. did not
    even think of.

    Talk to you soon..

    Barb

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    Hello Friends. Well the news could have been worse. Stage 3 NSCLC . Now they will do bone and head scans to see if it has moved any where else . Then they will try chemo to see how I respond. Thank you all for the help>
    Les

  16. #16
    Top User maryaz's Avatar
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    Les, you are so right, it could have been worse. I will prayer that it has not gone anywhere else and can stay at 3. My husband was Stage 3B first time around. We got thru it. Took a little help from a couple family members but we managed. He ended up with surgery.

    Just wanted to acknowledge your post and that I am glad it is not worse. Just take one step at a time. Are they going to do a PetScan to see where it shows the lung cancer. Maybe they don't use the Petscans in Canada. I had a friend with Cancer there and seems she didn't get pet scans. Not sure. I will have to ask her again. Keep yourself well as you can and don't over worry about this. Easier said than done tho. Will be praying for you.
    Husband (year of birth 1941) dx'd 2008 NSCLC - Squamous Cell Carcinoma
    Chemo and Radiation Treatments together. Allergic reaction to Taxol & Taxotere.
    The Story 2008 to 1/2011: http://www.cancerforums.net/about9079.html

    2010/2011: Returned & spread to lower lumbar bone/marrow. Stage 4.
    Chemo & Radiation together. Allergic reaction to Erbitux. Chemo was only Navelbine.
    The Story continues 2/2011: Story continues 2/2011: http://tinyurl.com/68qpmym

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    maryaz , we don't have Petscan in Winnipeg, Dr's are telling me that the scans I get are better than PetScan. I'm will have my head scan and bone scan done next week. Then i suppose its on to chimo. Had colonoscopy and stomach scopy done yesterday, no cancer there.

  18. #18
    Hi Les,

    Hope the scans come back OK, I'm pretty much in the same boat. Feel better than I have done for months. I can't see any symptoms of cancer but the docs seem worried. My CT scan showed an abnormality in the right lung. I had a PET scan today, they won't give me any info at all about it which is understandable and I am having the fine needle biopsy tomorrow. I'll post the results which won't be until next Thursday when I see the consultant. Its all getting a little scary now the day of reckoning seems not far away, ie the diagnosis.

    Good luck!

    Daz

  19. #19
    Administrator Top User pbj11's Avatar
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    Hey Les,

    Sorry about the Stage III diagnosis Les. Remember, it's treatable! Let's hope the rest of the scans come out clean! You'll be in my thoughts and I ask God to help get you through the upcoming wait time.

    PET scans are the best, but CT scans can give plenty of information to track the cancer as it responds to treatment. I know that, as recently as 6 years ago, England only had a handful of PET scan machines, where we have them all over the place here in the U.S. Most patients only have one PET scan at the initial diagnosis and staging, so it's not the end of the world to not have one.

    You stay positive and keep posting when you feel the need. We all understand the gamut of emotions. I always think about the big pin our oncologist wore on his doctor's coat. It said "Cancer Sucks" and it does. You're not alone Les. God is with you and we're always here too. (Same goes for you Daz!)

    Hugs,
    PBJ
    Husband diagnosed with NSCLC Stage IV in 3/2005. Fought & lived over 2 1/2 years with multiple lines of treatment.

    Post describing our journey: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.ph...er=asc&start=0

    Left my embrace to live with our Heavenly Father in October of 2007 and now breathes with ease forever. I will miss this gentle, giving soul with the easy smile for the rest of my days, but have faith we will be together again. He's just getting a little break from me!

  20. #20
    Top User maryaz's Avatar
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    Les, After seeing your post earlier, I was going to come here and ask questions about the two type of tests. In the meantime I googled and found this place that is in Canada. Also, pbj posted and answered my question. I was not 100% positive if one was better than the other. Here is a site I found that I believe is in Ontario. Just thought you might want to read some of what they have on here about the test. They have a virtual tour also. My friend that also had cancer and no Pet Scans lives in Nova Scotia. That was back in 2007 or 2008. Maybe they are just new to the area.
    http://www.careimaging.com/

    Les, so glad there is no cancer some parts. Hope all is clear in head and bone. I will be praying for you. Also Daz too, if you are reading. PBJ has written another good post. I cannot believe the Dr actually had a pin that said “Cancer Sucks”. When I refer to that term I always credit that to learning it on this forum.
    Husband (year of birth 1941) dx'd 2008 NSCLC - Squamous Cell Carcinoma
    Chemo and Radiation Treatments together. Allergic reaction to Taxol & Taxotere.
    The Story 2008 to 1/2011: http://www.cancerforums.net/about9079.html

    2010/2011: Returned & spread to lower lumbar bone/marrow. Stage 4.
    Chemo & Radiation together. Allergic reaction to Erbitux. Chemo was only Navelbine.
    The Story continues 2/2011: Story continues 2/2011: http://tinyurl.com/68qpmym

 
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