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Diagnosed with upper lobe lung mass. Done brochscopy, pet scan. Chances of having cancer and infection?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 8985 Questions
went to the emergency room after coughing up blood was diagnosed with upper lobe lung mass. he said it was hollow and i was referred to an oncologist who said it could be cancer it could be infection with my history of smoking cancer was more likely but it still could be infection. I was then sent to a pulminary dr. who did a brochscopy . This is were i am confused he said he could not see the mass but they did feathering and a wash to get cells from the area where i was. He called with the results that there was no cancer found but i would still need to go back to the oncolgist for more tests. The oncologist call the next day want to set up a pet scan which was finally done and i go monday. But now reading about this test i have read that they cant really tell the difference between infection and cancer as they both light up. I am really scared and confused at this point.

Posted Wed, 30 Oct 2013 in Lung Cancer
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 57 minutes later
Brief Answer:
PET scan will show/diffentiate active mass(cancer)

Detailed Answer:
Hello Ma'am and welcome.

Thank you for writing to us.

All the basic investigations do help in locating and superficially characterizing a mass (whether an infection or a cancer-related mass), which is why an investigation like a PET scan would be quite appropriate as it would help in finding an active mass (which would be the case if god forbid, it were cancer). The light emission is studied by a specialist and only then is a diagnosis of cancer made. A PET scan is a very accurate (and so expensive) investigation, you can rely on it ma'am.

Please do not worry, I am sure a PET scan will be most accurate, and god willing report a non-cancerous diagnosis as well.

I hope you found my response helpful. I wish you lots of luck and nothing less. Please feel free to write back to me for any further clarifications.

Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Diagnosed with upper lobe lung mass. Done brochscopy, pet scan. Chances of having cancer and infection? 18 minutes later
so i am to understand that they will be able to tell the difference between cancer and infection even though they both light up
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 0 minute later
Brief Answer:
It will surely detect the cancer (if present)

Detailed Answer:
Hello once again ma'am.

Yes, the PET scan can not only diagnose the cancer, but even provide in depth information like the type of cancer and even its stage. So please do not worry about its accuracy ma'am.

I assure you, it will surely help. Hoping you would not need the details and accuracy of a PET scan, and wishing you good health always.

Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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