FUNGUS VS LUNG CANCER

Portal Forums Lung/Thoracic Cancer General Lung/Thoracic Cancer FUNGUS VS LUNG CANCER

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Dr West 2 years, 3 months ago.

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July 9, 2012 at 10:16 pm  #1244824    

pamela77

When the lung doctor did a biopsy of my dad’s left lower lobe, there was no lung cancer but a fungus did grow out in 6-8 weeks. How did the doctor determine that there was no cancer, I have always wondered how a doctor can know with just plucking out some tissue, wonder if the cancer cells are laying in the tissue next to where the doctor took the biopsy? If the radiologist is saying there is an underlying mass can a doctor just go into the lung with alittle tube, I prefer the doctor to open up the chest and pull out the whole mass to be on the safe side. do some lung doctors do this?

July 10, 2012 at 8:48 am  #1244843    

catdander forum moderator

Pamala, that’s a good questions and one I found myself asking 3 years ago when my husband couldn’t get a cancerous biopsy.
I’m not a doctor. From scans doctors are sometimes able to have a very good idea that something is cancerous but sometimes it can be ambiguous such as a possible fungus or cancer. In my husband’s case they were all but certain it was cancer and kept up the search until he had a complete open thoracotomy. A very very invasive procedure and one not to be taken lightly and in my husband’s case knew going in it wouldn’t be curative.

The answer to your question is it depends.

Below is a link to a post on cancer work up discussing what goes into diagnosing cancer.

http://cancergrace.org/lung/2010/05/12/general-work-up-and-staging-of-lung-cancer-what-do-you-need-to-know/

this one is actually one of your posts

http://cancergrace.org/lung/topic/differential-diagnosis-for-lung-diseases/

Now I realize you want to understand why the surgery can’t be performed at will. The surgery is just that invasive and just that dangerous that there has to be a very clear reason for doing it. Only your fathers team can answer that.

3 years out and my husband’s biggest immediate problem as a stage IV lung cancer patient is the residual effects of the surgery, called post thoracotomy syndrome.

Below is a link on the subject.

http://cancergrace.org/forums/index.php?topic=8202.0

and this

http://www.gotpaindocs.com/post_thoractmy_pn.htm

Did your dad have a diagnosis of fungus that overshadowed cancer?

I hope this helps.
Janine


My husband, 53 @ dx of stage 3 squam nsclc R. pancoast tumor 8/09 caused destruction of 3 ribs, touching brachial plexus. 2 core and 1 VATS undx biopsies. Open thoracotomy for 1 positive biopsy (unresectable). Chemorads, 9/09. MRI by pancoast specialty surgeon 11/09 spine met found, stage IV, Rad to spine, Chemo changed from cis/etop to navelbine/carbo. 6 cycles total. Tarceva 2/10-11/10. 3cm tumor L lung, biopsy undx w/collapsed lung. Gemzar, 12/10 through 7/12. NED 3/12, stop tx 7/12. Remains NED as of 8/14.

July 11, 2012 at 6:06 am  #1244913    

Dr West

It really depends on the size of the lesion(s) and how suspicious the overall look is for cancer. The standard approach is to get a biopsy, and if the finding is compatible with something that would likely explain the picture, then that’s usually sufficient. It’s always possible that someone has two separate things happening at once (and that will depend on the images and whole clinical picture), but it’s most typically going to be one process if that one process could explain everything that’s being seen. It’s certainly possible to do an open lung biopsy, but if it’s extremely likely that the diagnosis will be a fungal infection, that’s biting off a lot of morbidity (side effects from the intervention) and even a small risk of mortality (dying from the intervention) just to get a diagnosis that was already established.

-Dr. West


Howard (Jack) West, MD
Medical Oncologist

Views expressed here represent my opinion, not those of GRACE or Swedish Cancer Institute. This information does not constitute medical advice and is intended to supplement and not replace medical information provided by your doctor.

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