CT and Pet Scan seem to point to malignant mass in L. Upper Lung - 1263316

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devora
CT and Pet Scan seem to point to malignant mass in L. Upper Lung - 1263316

Pulmonologist could not see the mass through a bronchoscopy and suggests that I see a thoracic surgeon. I read different opinions about Pet Scans identifying malignancies. Do they? Don't they? I am reluctant to have surgery for a biopsy since this can't be a done more easily through a needle.
Thank you for your time,
dd.

Dr West
Reply To: CT and Pet Scan seem to point to malignant mass in L.

No imaging study is perfect at clarifying what lesions are cancer vs. another cause. About 15-20% of the time, a nodule/mass that is suspicious on CT and/or PET for cancer turns out to not be cancer, but that also means that most of the time, a PET-avid and/or growing lung lesion is actually cancer.

It is very common to not see a cancer on bronchoscopy or have a biopsy not show a cancer. Short of a surgery, it may be possible to do a CT-guided biopsy if the lesion is in an accessible location for this. An interventional radiologist looking at your films could help clarify the probability of doing a safe and helpful CT-guided biopsy.

Good luck.

-Dr. West

+++++++++++++++++++++++++
Dr. Howard (Jack) West
Associate Clinical Professor
Medical Oncology
City of Hope Cancer Center
Duarte, CA

Founder & President
Global Resource for Advancing
Cancer Education

devora
Reply To: CT and Pet Scan seem to point to malignant mass in L.

Hello Dr. West,
I so appreciate your quick response! I have located such a doctor in my area and will call on Monday.
This all started with a 101 fever for a few weeks and severe total rib cage pain on my left side. Pleural effusion said the CAT Scan and the PET Scan says mild pleural thickening. Since the fever is gone, the rib cage pain has subsided but not totally, and I also have pain in my upper L. Thoracic area. Could this mass hurt? Maybe on a nerve(s)?
I am thankful that I bumped into this site and grateful for you being there.
dd.
( :

JimC
Reply To: CT and Pet Scan seem to point to malignant mass in L.

Hi devora,

A pleural effusion can certainly cause chest pain, whether or not it is caused by cancer, as the excess fluid causes the chest wall to press against the rib cage, especially when you take a breath. You can read about pleural effusion in Dr. West's post here: http://cancergrace.org/lung/2007/03/17/intro-to-pleural-effusions/

JimC
Forum moderator

<p>I began visiting GRACE in July, 2008 when my wife Liz was diagnosed with lung cancer, and became a forum moderator in January, 2010. My beloved wife of 30 years passed away Nov. 4, 2011 after battling stage IV lung cancer for 3 years and 4 months</p>