• Waiting for results

    Asked by Janet12 on Sunday, February 1, 2015

    Waiting for results

    Hello, I am new here and just looking for answers. I went in for an MRI for neck pain in Dec. They saw several large lymph nodes in my thyroid. Had a CT and turns out they look cancerous but in my mediastinum/lung area. Saw my GP, met with a Pulmonary Oncologist who will be doing the biopsy on Tuesday. Had a PET/CT scan on Friday. From what all the Doctors have told me, they are still unsure if it's cancer but they all talked like they were sure it is. Hardest part is waiting and not knowing and possibly not knowing until all the test come back. I have been so down and have only told a few members of my family. I am not sure what to think at this point. What questions should I ask? What should I expect next? I would appreciate any feedback, thank you!
    Janet

    11 Answers from the Community

    11 answers
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      From a scan - any scan - lymph nodes either look normally-sized, or enlarged. No scan can tell you if they are cancerous. To determine that requires that a complete node come out for a thorough pathological examination. Before I would have a lung biopsy, it seems that one of those nodes near your thyroid should come out. I would think that they are far more accessible and pose far less risk than taking a sample from your lung - something to discuss with doctor. Even if it is lung cancer that has spread to your thyroid area, it is still lung cancer and can be just as easily identified from one of the nodes there.

      On the other hand, if this is lymphoma, it can also appear in your lung, or your pancreas or anywhere in your body - as a "liquid cancer" that is just its nature. It is not lung cancer, but lymphoma in your lung. Yet, lymphoma is treatable at all stages, so if you hear "stage IV" it is not the bad news that stage IV in other cancers is.

      Frankly, if you are at a regular hospital, I would run for my life. If cancer is suspected, you want those who specialize in cancer to be on your side. I would hope that you are being seen at a National Cancer Institute designated cancer center. They are the best of the best and offer you the greatest hope for a good outcome. At this link, you can find if your cancer center is on their list: http://www.cancer.gov/researchandfunding/extramural/cancercenters/find-a-cancer-center

      If it is not, I highly recommend visiting one. Seeking a second opinion at one such center saved my life in 2008. All the best to you.

      over 4 years ago
    • keahemalie's Avatar
      keahemalie

      Until you have a biopsy and the tissue is examined by a pathologist, your doctors cannot say what you have...they don't know, as po18said. I had a small tumor in my lung, also very near to the heart, and my biopsy was done by an interventional pulmonologist with very specialized training. I guess I'm wondering how yours is to be done and whether the nodes in your thyroid are also a concern. A needle biopsy can be done for nodes in the neck.

      Yes, the waiting is awful and scary...we've all been there. I would just suggest that you try your best to limit the worry, "future" thinking and stay in the present moment. It's your choice about who you tell what and when...there's no right or wrong. If you have specific questions re: your tests or the biopsy, write them down and ask your doctor. Have someone go to the appointment with you.

      Gentle hugs... <3

      over 4 years ago
    • Jalemans' Avatar
      Jalemans

      I had a mediastenoscopy in Oct. They were able to tell me no cancer in swollen lymph nodes within a couple days. For me, this was done as a same day surgery & it wasn't that bad. My scar is already barely visible. If they do find cancer, then you will meet with oncologist to discuss treatment options.

      Don't be too panicked about nodules in your thyroid. My endocrinologist told me almost every adult has them. I have so many that they grew together! Although I have thyroid disease, it was not cancerous so those nodules are not necessarily cancer. He also told me that thyroid cancer is very slow-growing & as cancers go, one of the least scary. The plan had been to try to treat my sarcoma first & let the thyroid go until my other cancer was under control.

      Everyone here understands perfectly about the stress & fear while you wait. I hope this is helpful & that everything turns out well for you. Please keep us posted.

      over 4 years ago
    • cam32505's Avatar
      cam32505

      One thing to know about all the tests, none of them will diagnose cancer. Cancer can only be seen by biopsy and viewed under a microscope. Most times, they just assume it's cancer if it shows up on a scan. My ex-husband had cat scan because he kept coughing (for a year). They were going to do a biopsy, then did another scan and it looked like it was spreading. When they finally got in there, he had inhaled a peanut in his lung and because it was there for so long, it had become infected. They did have to remove part of the lung, but it wasn't cancer.

      over 4 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar
      CAS1

      A CT scan cannot determine cancer in the thyroid..Many people myself included have large cysts in my Thyroid..Enlarged Lymph nodes can be anything because that means they are doing their job.

      Only a biopsy can determine cancer..Wait for the results. stay calm and one Day at a time.

      Wishing for the best for you.

      over 4 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      Everybody is guessing at this point.

      Instead of "waiting", if you feel OK simply continue your life.

      Pains in the neck can be from a myriad of reasons other than cancer. Car accident, arthritis, poor posture, disc problems and yadda yadda yadda.

      The biopsy will reveal more. The problem with a lymph node biopsy is that in order to biopsy it, you lose it. :(

      Very good luck. I hope you have bad posture which is much more easily correctable.

      over 4 years ago
    • RM-88's Avatar
      RM-88

      Welcome Janet 12,
      No easy answers some times,take 1 day 1 test at a time,(live)
      God -Bless
      rm88

      over 4 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar
      BuckeyeShelby

      You are right. Waiting seems to be the hardest part. Once you have a treatment plan in place, it should feel a bit easier -- did for me. Things you will eventually want to discuss w/your oncologist include -- what will treatment entail? What kind of side effects can I expect? Will there always be a doctor from your practice on-call in case something happens after hours or on weekends? How long will treatment take? I kept a small notebook w/me. Drug it w/me to all my appointments. It was filled w/questions I had come up with since the last appointment or any weird symptoms I had, etc. Made me feel a little more in control. Good luck -- hope all goes well for you.

      over 4 years ago
    • Sandie's Avatar
      Sandie

      The best advice I can give you Janet, is get a second opinion. If I had not gotten one back in 2012, I would not be here talking to you today. I know how scared you are, we have all been through this...but tell someone, whether it be a sister, a best friend, an aunt, or whoever. Talking about it will make it easier for you, and that person will be there to support you. Don't try going through this by yourself. I have a good feeling your going to be alright. I am in remission with stage IV lung cancer that was discovered back in 2012. Try to focus on being positive...Whatever happens...we are all here for you to talk with. We have been, and still are in your shoes.....Welcome, and best of luck with your biopsy......Keep us posted......Sandie

      over 4 years ago
    • MaryTD777's Avatar
      MaryTD777

      Definitely get a second opinion! AND, get it at a cancer Center!! Not just a hospital affiliated with a cancer center, but an actual cancer center.
      You don't want to be around sick people if you need to be going through treatment. You want doctors you know your cancer and everything about it. You don't want a doctor who sees 45 asthma, 30 colds, 15 pneumonias and one lung cancer per month.

      I hope the guesses are wrong and you just have some swollen nodes due to a small infection.

      God Bless!

      over 4 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      I agree that waiting is hard. I am fortunate sends me the results when it gets the results to the Dr.s so there isn't much waiting time between the tests and the results. However waiting for the tests and procedures can be very hard. Worrying cannot change the results of the tests, I pray that all the tests find no cancer.
      However should you have cancer it is not a death sentence. I will be a five year survivor of stage IV esophageal cancer this year.
      If you should be diagnosed with cancer here is a link to an excellent guidebook http://www.livestrong.org/we-can-help/guidebook/
      Sending prayers your way.

      over 4 years ago

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