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Could my biopsy results be wrong?

Discuss Lymphoma, Hodgkins Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma

Could my biopsy results be wrong?

Postby haraford » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:12 pm

I've had one enlarged lymph node on the left side of my neck for about a year, didn't think much of it. 2 months ago, one right under it swelled. I had a needle biopsy done, negative lymphoma. Now I have a group of them (5) surrounding the initial one, one behind my jaw and both under my chin and base of my skull are enlarged. My MRI showed "numerous enlarged nodes" all over my body. I've done a CT Scan, MRI, gastric screening, lung screening, bone marrow biopsy, all ok. Now I'm scehdualed for a PET scan next week. I was sent to an oncologist who told me after all those tests, she isn't "convinced" it's not cancer. I have bad night sweats for about a week at a time that have come and gone for about 6 months. My white blood cell count last week was 1.5! Extremly dry itchy skin. My blood pressure has always been low, now it's so high I am on 3 different meds to control it. I have secondary raynaulds & positive ana. Could my needle biopsy be wrong? Should I have another biopsy done?
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Could my biopsy results be wrong?

Postby telford » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:14 pm

PET will not give you tissue diagnosis, just tell you if it's malignant or not. Yes, a biopsy can be wrong. Needle biopsy is not enough, you need an excision. I'm puzzled why your bone marrow biopsy was normal, but your wbc was 1.5. Your symptoms are certainly consistent with lymphoma. Listen to your oncologist.

I do want to add, you can request your biopsy slides to be sent for a 2nd opinion. Mayo clinic, for example.

Well, I'm not a doctor but I have to say if I were you I would have another biopsy done, and not just FNA (fine needle aspiration). My personal feeling is if something isn't supposed to be there, TAKE IT OUT!! I'm not sure where you live, but please go to a major medical center in your area. I'm not sure why one MRI would show enlarged lymph nodes all over, but then you say CT, MRI, etc. "all ok" What are your liver enzymes? Have you seen a nephrologist? He may have answers to your hypertension, and positive ANA. Good luck!
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Could my biopsy results be wrong?

Postby aelfraed50 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:18 pm

Dear Lost,
I hope you get some answers. let us know!
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Could my biopsy results be wrong?

Postby ahanu » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:27 pm

I would go with the PET scan for now. See what that says first. I can understand that you are nervous, but try to relax.....
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Could my biopsy results be wrong?

Postby doctor » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:30 pm

ask for your biopsy report. It sounds like something went wrong or something happen doing the biopsy. get all reports...
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Could my biopsy results be wrong?

Postby amaury » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:43 pm

If you have had the enlarged lymph node for a year and the biopsy was negative, I wouldn't start worrying too much about having cancer until you have a better picture of what is going on. I'd go to a dentist and make sure I didn't have any dental problems or abscessed teeth. Ask whether you might need to see an ENT Dr if dental exam shows no problems.
If you had cancer your WBC would probably be very high, not low, unless you were already doing chemo. I'm guessing you have an infection of some type caused by the low WBC that is causing the swollen glands. Good luck.
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Could my biopsy results be wrong?

Postby lynd » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:53 pm

Needle biopsies are unreliable, particularly when interpreted by inexperienced pathologists. The test of choice would be an excisional lymph node biopsy (take a whole lymph node out). If your dry, itchy skin had any rash or discoloration, a skin punch biopsy could and should be performed as well.

You should consider getting an opinion from MD Anderson, since you're in Houston already. You could ask your doctor to refer you for a second opinion.
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Could my biopsy results be wrong?

Postby brathach13 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:59 pm

I echo the others who say that a needle biopsy is not enough. A surgical biopsy is best by far because needle biopsies are not always accurate. Even if a needle biopsy indicates you have lymphoma, you wont know what kind without a surgical biopsy.
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Could my biopsy results be wrong?

Postby caillen » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:14 pm

I haven't read the other answers, so I'm probably duplicating something you've already read. However, my husband was originally misdiagnosed...then correctly diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma...starting out much like the story you described (enlarged lymph node in the left neck, night sweats, etc.). By the time he was correctly diagnosed, it was in stage 4 with bone marrow involvement. He was treated with MANY rounds and many different kinds of chemotherapy and, ultimately, a stem cell transplant - and has now been in remission for almost four years - praise the Lord!

I'm not trying to scare you, just emphasizing the need for a second opinion...or the need to urge your current doctor to do MORE. I did see someone tell you about MD Anderson. I would definitely try to get there if you're not happy with your current physician's efforts.

Good luck to you - and try to update us before you choose an answer!!
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