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Thread: Large Lung Mass

  1. #1

    Large Lung Mass

    Hello all,

    My mother in law went to the doctor for a cough that wouldn't go away, they did a chest x-ray and found what they called a "large mass" in her lungs. Next the did a CT, then a PET, then a breathing test, and attempted to do a bronchoscopy, but nothing showed in her bronchial tubes. The next step is a needle biopsy. I asked the doctor what the PET scan showed and all he said was the mass was "hot". She is in denial and not pushing to get these tests done quickly, just waiting until the HMO calls her. Does "hot" mean that the mass is malignant? Will the needle biopsy be the last test before we get a diagnosis? Any words of advice or info would be very helpful. Kind regards, Lila :D

  2. #2
    Administrator Top User pbj11's Avatar
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    Sadiegirl,

    I'm sorry this nightmare is happening for your family. Your poor mom is going through such difficulty, but must push to complete the tests. A needle biopsy should be the conclusive evidence for diagnosis.

    If a PET lights up or is hot, that leans in the direction of malignancy. There are false positives and other diseases that can make a PET light up and I hope that lung cancer isn't the case. Did they mention the size of the mass or the SUV (standard uptake value) level of the PET? The higher the SUV (the "hotter"), the more likely a malignancy.

    Have they indicated if there was any other area lighting up? If it is a single mass, she may be able to have surgery and could be at a lower stage -- which would be a great thing. Time is of the essence to keep it from spreading, if it is indeed lung cancer.

    She has gone through the standard process to move toward a diagnosis and I'm glad that a needle biopsy can be done.

    Keep us posted and many hugs to you for caring so much.

    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!

  3. #3
    Administrator Top User brainman's Avatar
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    Hi Lila. I am very sorry that you are having these problems. It does sound like you have a good medical team from all the tests the are doing.

    I agree with PBJ. Hot spots do not conclusively prove that the tumor is malignant, however, it does point in that direction. You will need a biopsy to verify the identity the cell type.

    You are in my thought and prayers. Keep us updated.
    Jim
    Long-term cancer survivor
    1992 Astrocytoma grade 2, left motor strip
    2005 Recurrence this time said to be an Oligodendroglioma grade 3, same location.
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2405
    My Story Part 1: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2528
    My Story Part 2: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?p=7350
    My Story Part 3: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=8029

  4. #4
    Hi PBJ, Thanks for the info. I don't have access to the results and keep waiting for her to ask the doctor more questions. Are there any dangers with the needle biopsy?

    I just get so frustrated because I lost both of my parents two years ago to cancer. My mother had a brain tumor and only survived 2 months after diagnosis. My father had small cell lung cancer and wasn't diagnosed until after he had spent 4 weeks in a rehab center for back pain and given pain meds and physical therapy and sent home. By the time I put my foot down and took him to the emergency room it had spread to his brain and he declined treatment, choosing to join my mother after losing her 4 months earlier. He was 80.

    I'll keep bugging her...

  5. #5
    Administrator Top User brainman's Avatar
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    Lila, the dangers are minimal with a needly biopsy. You would be taking a greater risk by NOT having a biopsy done. Another issue with a needle biopsy is that sometimes they give a false negative.

    Good luck.
    Jim
    Long-term cancer survivor
    1992 Astrocytoma grade 2, left motor strip
    2005 Recurrence this time said to be an Oligodendroglioma grade 3, same location.
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2405
    My Story Part 1: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2528
    My Story Part 2: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?p=7350
    My Story Part 3: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=8029

  6. #6
    Administrator Top User pbj11's Avatar
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    Lila,

    You poor soul -- you've had more than your share of sorrow associated with cancer. God bless you.

    Brainman is quite correct -- needle biopsies sometimes don't get enough cancer cells to test, but if they are going into a solid mass, it should work. The risk would be a lung collapse, but at a hospital facility, they will be ready for any possible problems. My husband had a wedge-section biopsy for is diagnosis and if they can do it via needle biopsy, then she is ahead of the game. Is there any fluid surrounding her lung? I'm wondering where they are aiming the needle -- if you know what I mean!

    Best of luck and I know you have more worries than normal having been down this road before. I'm sorry.

    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!

  7. #7
    Well... it is cancer. I don't know what stage, just that they want to do surgery ASAP. She didn't do very well on her lung capacity test but they think that she will have breathing problems regardless. They didn't even need to do the needle biopsy. She is still seeing the pulmonologist -shouldn't she be seeing an oncologist? They are looking at surgery over radiation...
    Any thoughts on the difference, what to expect? Kind regards.

  8. #8
    Administrator Top User pbj11's Avatar
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    Lila,

    Surgery, although it sounds scary, is the best possibility for a lung cancer diagnosis. That means it is in an earlier stage and hasn't spread through her body. I don't understand how they did the diagnosis without a biopsy though.

    The surgeon is the next step, if he thinks it can be removed. The oncologist will come into the picture after the surgery to see if she needs follow-up radiation or chemotherapy.

    God bless you and I'm so sorry you are on this road again. My heart truly is breaking for you. Stay strong for your Mother-in-law, but come here to unload anytime.

    Best wishes,
    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!

  9. #9
    Hi PBJ,
    Thanks for the info... this can be so confusing and I appreciate your insight and hope I can be there for others as well.

    Warm regards

  10. #10
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    My mother has just gone through all of this. Jan 21 they told her she had pneumonia. she had a cough that would not go away. I demanded a cat-scan got it the same night. in the morning they told us it was a tumor size of a orange plus. She then had a needle bisopy and a lung breathing test. It was decided she could have surgery. Mom is nearly 75 so this thought was scary, however she had her surgery on march 31, came through with flying colors, whole upper right lobe taken, along with some nodes, she is doing wonderfully, she saw the doctor the other day and he just can not get over how well she is doing. she required no oxygen ( she smoked for 30 years stopped 19 years ago). Tests reports came back showing it had not spread. she just saw the oncologist yesterday this is what we were told.

    only stage one level two. she has no hot spots, and will be seen once every 4 months for the next 5 years. and it was decided by all the doctors there is no need for any further treatment.

    she had lost 42 pounds, but was somewhat overweight, she is eating well again, her cough is not really there anymore and is now after nearly three weeks going back to her own home to get back to the life she had before this started. We know so far our prayers and wishes have been granted. She did tell the doctor that she was happy if he was able to give her several more months and replied months you should have years. It is still hard to except the fact that they feel she does not need any further treatment but they have been great so far so we are taking them at their word at this time. Guess every 4 months we will hope that this is true. After all,
    Her first doctor told her 6 months we got rid of him quickly and moved on to another and for us it was the best thing for us to do. This doctor told her don't even think about throwing in the towel . She was listening to the first doctor and was already deciding not to do the surgery or any form of Chemo. I also told her you push forward and we give it a shot. Hang in there if you caught it as early as we did there is always hope. My thoughts and prayers all with all who have to go through this.

 
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