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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
38 years in practice
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Dr. Eric Weisman
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Lung (Definition)

Deoxygenated blood enters the lungs from the right side of the heart and travels to the lungs. When you inspire, oxygen flows into the lungs, transverses the capilliares and attaches to hemoglobin down a gradient. At the same time, co2 diffuses into the capilaries and is expelled with exhalation. Oxygen rich blood then flows to the left side of the heart and into the ...Read more


Dr. John Munshower
Board Certified, Family Medicine
24 years in practice
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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?

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

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
38 years in practice
136M people helped
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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

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

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
50 years in practice
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My mother has lung cancer, subject to biopsy. What should we expect to happen if she does?

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

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

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
13 years in practice
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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.

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. Walter Husar
2 doctors shared insights

Biopsy (Definition)

Biopsy is tissue removed by needle or cutting to remove part of a body part. It is usually a small amount of material that is processed by a pathologist. Most of the time it is stained and looked at through a microscope to arrive at a diagnosis. Special processes are done for some tissues or problems. The purpose is to tell what the problem is (diagnosis). ...Read more


Dr. David Cooke
763 doctors shared insights

Lung Cancer (Definition)

From national cancer institute: "cancer that forms in tissues of the lung, usually in the cells lining air passages. The two main types are small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. These types are diagnosed based on how the cells ...Read more


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Dr. Eric Weisman
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30 years in practice
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