I've been searching around the boards the last couple days and was wondering if I could get your take on something. This is all very new to me. My sister went into the hospital on Friday because she was coughing up blood. A ct scan revealed enlarged lymph node(s) in her chest (5cm by 2.7cm). I'm not sure if it's one or several. I do know that her spleen and abdomen are clear and her blood work came back "normal" (wish I had specifics there). Our father had Hodgkin's 30 years ago when he was 31 and my sister is 34. Doctor's seem to think it's lymphoma. Her biopsy is scheduled for tomorrow morning. Does anyone know how long it takes to get results? Also, does the fact that the lymph node(s) in her chest attribute to one form of lymphoma over another? She doesn't have any B symptoms either.
Any another other information you could share would be great. She just had twins two months ago and this is so shocking. We just don't know what to think.
Thanks in advance,
If the docs do not know of any other symptoms then it is premature for lymphoma to be the primary suspected diagnosis. It may be on the list of possibilities, but there are several other possible causes of those symptoms, some bacterial, some viral, tumors (benign or not), and other possible causes.
Please report back to close the loop for future readers.
Thanks for the response, Trey. We all thought it was premature to be suspecting lymphoma, but the doctors really seem to be leaning that way. I asked my friend who's a pulmonologist why that is and he said it's because the sheer size of the mass (suspecting these are nodes), swollen nodes upper nodes and lack of other viral or bacterial symptoms. Of course we're hoping they're all wrong, but if they're right I hope I can give my sister the right type of support and help her through this. I'll be sure to update the thread. Any idea how long it takes for the biopsy results? 24 hours? Right away?
In my case in Canada (enlarged spleen for mantle cell lymphoma), it took about 7-10 days for the biopsy to come through. Not as quick as CT scans. My experience was to take things in stages; while you are right to worry, and the uncertainty is hard, sometimes all we can do is wait a bit (and it is easier to say than do!). As there are many different types of lymphoma, which only the biopsy can reveal, ranging from non-aggressive to nastier kinds, another reason to hold off as much as possible on your fears.
Thoughts are with you all and as Trey said, keep the loop active. Lot of good people in this forum.
Thanks Andrew for sharing your experience. My sis just got out of surgery. They ended up doing a bronchoscopy of her lungs first followed by a needle aspiration of her upper nodes in chest and then a more invasive procedure to sample the mass further in her chest. Now we just wait. They told us we should have the results sometime next week.
Thought I'd give you an update on my sis. We're still in limbo. She called the doctor yesterday and they finally called her back to say they don't have all the results (waiting on one more), but everything is coming back benign, which is awesome, BUT they can't rule out cancer. They didn't actually get a sample of the mass because it was too hard to reach (and they're just now telling her this. Even though they did a special procedure to reach it which required going in behind her trachea). They were able to biopsy the upper nodes that were swollen and those are the ones that are coming back benign. Now they're talking about going back in, removing a rib and deflating a lung just for a biopsy of the mass. If they do that she'll be in the hospital for weeks with a chest tube. The doc is talking to a radiologist and another surgeon to see what their other options are. Regardless prob going to do radiation to shrink the mass/tumor.
And the wait continues...
You are very kind to provide an update. Thank you.
I have no idea what the diagnosis will be, but here is some information that may be useful to help understand what the docs will be looking at:
Thanks Trey for the information. We received good news yesterday. They went in to do the biopsy and when they went to scan, they couldn't locate the mass. They said it had shrunk 90%. They now are saying it's sarcoidosis and she had been having a flare up. She needs to see a pulmonologist and be on steroids to help. They're also going to do more blood work to confirm (not sure what they're looking for here).
For all you guys waiting for a diagnosis, try and stay positive. The doctors were convinced it was some form of lymphoma. Sarcoidosis wasn't even considered because of the mass size. I wish you all the best. I'll still be hanging out here because I love the support and hearing such great stories.