? Diagnosis

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? Diagnosis

by Juliann on Wed Jan 10, 2007 12:00 AM

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I have written before about my father who was diagnosis with cancer just prior to Thanksgiving.  He has been told he has Stage IV melanoma with METS in his brain, lungs, liver, and adrenal glands.  They attempted a biopsy of his liver but reported they were not sucessful.  The only other information except the CT Scan was a history of melanoma removed from his chest over 10 years ago.  I feel that without having a biopsy and knowing exactly what type of cancer we are dealing with...its is hard to determine the best course of treatment.  The physicians just assure us that it is melanoma.  Has anyone else been diagnosis with melanoma without having a biopsy?  What diagnostic tests are typical?  Thanks for your responses!

 

RE: ? Diagnosis

by Oncrx on Thu Jan 11, 2007 12:00 AM

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without a biopsy, its an educated guess.  If he had melanoma years ago and presently has mets in different places with no other primary then it has to be MM by process of elimination.

RE: ? Diagnosis

by Carolyn_Ruth on Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:00 AM

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On 1/10/2007 Juliann wrote:

I have written before about my father who was diagnosis with cancer just prior to Thanksgiving.  He has been told he has Stage IV melanoma with METS in his brain, lungs, liver, and adrenal glands.  They attempted a biopsy of his liver but reported they were not sucessful.  The only other information except the CT Scan was a history of melanoma removed from his chest over 10 years ago.  I feel that without having a biopsy and knowing exactly what type of cancer we are dealing with...its is hard to determine the best course of treatment.  The physicians just assure us that it is melanoma.  Has anyone else been diagnosis with melanoma without having a biopsy?  What diagnostic tests are typical?  Thanks for your responses!

 


I feel for you, as I have recently been diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. There are types of biopsies that are not quite as invasive. I recently underwent a needle biopsy of a nodule in my lung; an outpatient biopsy done by a radiologic interventionist. The pathologist was able to test the resulting tissue and see if the cells were melanoma by testing them with a specific dye. (which they were). The test was not that comfortable, but not a full blown surgery either. The risk of this type of biopsy is a collapse or partially collapsed lung, not as bad as it sounds, ...you can pull this up on the internet and get more information. Even after I had this biopsy and subsequent results which had a very poor prognosis, i still asked for a metestatic work-up. I think your father may have had this. Did he have a PET SCAN? This is another type of scan (other than a cat scan) that can give more information about whether tumors are cancerous or not. Most doctors do want to know what type of a cancer you have, I think you are right in this regard. It is difficult, but you have to be your own advocate and ask questions over and over until you fully understand what is happening. It is your right. Also, some of people I have read about have gone for second opinions if necessary. ...also, I just want to say, if the conventional treatment plans promise no hope, try something else. There is a lot of information on the internet. They are called alternate cancer treatments that can support the whole body. There is alot to wade through, but between alternative and whatever conventional treatments, you can find ways to improve your Dad's chances. ...know this is more info. than you asked for, but hope some of it helped. ...yours, Carolyn
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