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Doctor insights on: Can You Diagnose Lung Cancer Without A Biopsy

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Dr. Ed Friedlander
Board Certified, Pathology
39 years in practice
137M people helped
1

1
Can lung cancer ever appear on an xray, be diagnosed as pneumonia and then not appear on two subsequent xrays or was it really pneumonia.

Dr. Ed Friedlander
Board Certified, Pathology
39 years in practice
137M people helped
Can lung cancer ever appear on an xray, be diagnosed as pneumonia and then not appear on two subsequent xrays or was it really pneumonia.

Why do you ask?: i am glad it is gone. I would trust the imaging specialist especially if there are two films without cancer after the pneumonia is gone. ...Read more

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Dr. Mark Pack
Board Certified
26 years in practice
2M people helped
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Dr. Mark Pack
Board Certified
26 years in practice
2M people helped
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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,071 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that occur in almost any organ or tissue in the body. Symptoms depend on the location of the cancer, and cancer often has the potential to grow and spread to other ...Read more


Dr. John Munshower
Board Certified, Family Medicine
25 years in practice
93M people helped
2

2
Can pet scan always diagnose /confirm presence of lung cancer or can only give indication and later biopsy is vital to confirm cancer if a nodule seen?

Dr. John Munshower
Board Certified, Family Medicine
25 years in practice
93M people helped
Can pet scan always diagnose /confirm presence of lung cancer or can only give indication and later biopsy is vital to confirm cancer if a nodule seen?

Bx definitive: A positron emission tomography (pet) scan is an imaging test that uses a radioactive substance called a tracer to look for disease in the body. It is often used to determine the treatment of cancer, if it is spreading, or improving, etc. Used in combination with tests such as ct or mri, it can provide a very high index of suspicion for cancer, but a bx is always definitive and used for tx. ...Read more

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Dr. Mark Pack
Board Certified
26 years in practice
2M people helped
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Dr. Mark Pack
Board Certified
26 years in practice
2M people helped
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Dr. Christopher Bibb
Board Certified, Pathology
15 years in practice
43K people helped
3

3
Can lung cancer be diagnosed with scans and blood work alone or is a biopsy necessary?

Dr. Christopher Bibb
Board Certified, Pathology
15 years in practice
43K people helped
Can lung cancer be diagnosed with scans and blood work alone or is a biopsy necessary?

Get a biopsy: Several conditions of the lung may have overlapping features presenting as a discrete lesion on imaging. If biopsy is possible, it is the best way to confirm or rule out a cancer. ...Read more

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Dr. Ed Friedlander
Board Certified, Pathology
39 years in practice
137M people helped
4

4
Is biopsy the only way of determining the sub-type of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer? Any non-invasive ways? 1st biopsy inconclusive and risks with repeat

Dr. Ed Friedlander
Board Certified, Pathology
39 years in practice
137M people helped
Is biopsy the only way of determining the sub-type of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer? Any non-invasive ways? 1st biopsy inconclusive and risks with repeat

Need a biopsy: A physician who diagnosed ANY lung cancer without obtaining a biopsy would be committing gross malpractice. You've got SOMETHING in your lung that's VERY worrisome and whatever got it noticed, you should be demanding that the biopsy be repeated anyway and a best diagnosis rendered. Risks? Do you want to die of a missed cancer? I know you don't. Be brave. Best wishes. ...Read more

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Dr. Mark Pack
Board Certified
26 years in practice
2M people helped
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Dr. David Cooke
Board Certified, Thoracic Surgery
17 years in practice
1M people helped
5

5
Can a doctor determine the stage of lung cancer from a lung biopsy?

Dr. David Cooke
Board Certified, Thoracic Surgery
17 years in practice
1M people helped
Can a doctor determine the stage of lung cancer from a lung biopsy?

Lots to staging: Staging of lung cancer identifies t n and m status, or tumor size (t) lymph node involvement (n) and presence of metastasis or distant spread of tumor (m). Staging may include lung biopsy, but may require pet/ct to determine metastasis (m), mediastinoscopy or ebus to asses lymph nodes (n). ...Read more

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Dr. Creighton Wright
Board Certified, General Surgery
51 years in practice
17M people helped
6

6
My mother has lung cancer, subject to biopsy. What should we expect to happen if she does?

Dr. Creighton Wright
Board Certified, General Surgery
51 years in practice
17M people helped
My mother has lung cancer, subject to biopsy. What should we expect to happen if she does?

Depends: Local stage 1 surgical removal stage 2 surgery stage 3 combinations depending on exact situation. Stage 4' no surgery other than diagnoštic, then adjuvant arc by oncologists. Other personal risk factors impact and can prevail with any management. Poor lung function is one of those! ...Read more

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Dr. Creighton Wright
Board Certified, General Surgery
51 years in practice
17M people helped
7

7
Why would they have to keep a drainage tube in, for going on three weeks now?, she had a lung biopsy. She has stage 4 lung cancer, 79yrs. Old.

Dr. Creighton Wright
Board Certified, General Surgery
51 years in practice
17M people helped
Why would they have to keep a drainage tube in, for going on three weeks now?, she had a lung biopsy. She has stage 4 lung cancer, 79yrs. Old.

Drainage: Tubes in the chest drain air or fluid. The duration is usually determined by volume of fluid or persistent air leak. ...Read more

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Dr. Ronald Dreifuss
Board Certified, Radiology
29 years in practice
149K people helped
8

8
Why would someone who has had lung cancer surgery need a liver biopsy?

Dr. Ronald Dreifuss
Board Certified, Radiology
29 years in practice
149K people helped
Why would someone who has had lung cancer surgery need a liver biopsy?

Tumor spread: Cancers can spread to different areas in the body. It is not uncommon for lung cancer to spread beyond the lung to other areas such as the liver and bone. If you have a known lung cancer and an abnormality in the liver it may be spread of the lung cancer. Certain tests like an MRI may be helpful to see if it is an often seen benign lesion (hemangioma). If it can't you may need a biopsy. ...Read more

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Dr. Michael Shapiro
Board Certified, Palliative Care
2K people helped
9

9
My mom has stage 4 small cell lung cancer in both lungs, in severe pain no biopsy no trtreatment what happens now ? Life expectancy?

Dr. Michael Shapiro
Board Certified, Palliative Care
2K people helped

Functional status: First, I am so sorry for you and your family. Lung cancer can spread very quickly. You mentioned hospice had been called. In general, that is an option when an individual has a life expectancy of less than 6months. But remember, that is just a prognosis (guess/estimate) not a hard set fact. The most important factors are her function, such as her ability to stand, walk, eat, etc. ...Read more

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Dr. Nathaniel Evans III
Board Certified, Thoracic Surgery
14 years in practice
84K people helped
10

10
Can you have adeno and squamous lung cancer at the same time? What is the significance for treatment? 2 biopsies --- one from main lung mass showing squamous, one from lymph node showing adeno.

Dr. Nathaniel Evans III
Board Certified, Thoracic Surgery
14 years in practice
84K people helped
Can you have adeno and squamous lung cancer at the same time?  What is the significance for treatment? 2 biopsies --- one from main lung mass showing squamous, one from lymph node showing adeno.

Yes...: It is possible that there are two different cancers. It may also be that the primary tumor is a combination of the two (adenosquamous) and the biopsy only sampled one part. Adenosquamous tumors contain adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. And either or both types of cancer may spread to lymph nodes. ...Read more

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Dr. David Cooke
782 doctors shared insights

Lung Cancer (Definition)

Lung cancer is a medical condition caused by the over proliferation of certain types of abnormal cells found in the lung. Symptoms include shortness of breath, cough, sputum with blood, hoarse ...Read more


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Dr. Mark Pack
Board Certified,
26 years in practice
2M people helped
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