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update: Mom misdiagnosed with nsclc. Not cancer


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Hi everyone. I wanted to give an update to my earlier post on my mom. After being denied a referral to MD Anderson by her insurance we got her oncologist to refer us to a thoracic surgeon while we waited on her resubmitted referral. He began by stating that according to her CT, positive PET scan and one biopsy that diagnosed squamous cell lung cancer she was considered a stage IIIb non surgery candidate. None of her biopsies confirmed she had cancer in her lymph nodes, they were inconclusive but they were very hot on the PET(subcarinal node particularly). We spent about an hour with the surgeon and by the end of our visit had convinced him to do surgery b/c the only way to definitively stage her and to get to the node was a thoracotomy. We pointed out that she could end up a stage I if the nodes weren't positive. He agreed only b/c she had 2 previous unsuccessful biopsies of nodes and to start tx she needed to know. Anyway, long story short, mom does not have lung cancer she has Histoplasmosis. This is a fungal infection that we have repeatedly asked the pulmonologist if she could have. The surgeon called her this past week with the final path report and said everything looks good. He "consulted" with the original pathologist who diagnosed the nsclc and he admitted it could've been infection. This has been the most stressful 3 months of my life especially since I had a baby and my mom's first grandchild one week before all this started. I want to say thank you to everyone on this board for the support and hope they provide. I have learned so much from the posts I've read and every time I thought I was losing it I would come to this site. This site is full of wonderful, brave people fighting this horrible disease. I learned to push for second and third opinions and arm yourself with knowledge. The doctors don't know everything. Her oncologist gave us the option of meeting with the surgeon or starting chemo and radiation!!!

Going through all this has opened my eyes to what a horrible disease lung cancer is and the need for more research. I am definitely going to do all I can to help in this fight.

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Well, I guess I would be relieved too. I googled histoplasmosis and I see that it is a fungal disease. It has got to be better than lc. I guess it gets dry and dusty where you are, as the spores are breathed in from dust. I hope your mom gets it treated quickly.

And it is interesting to note, that you would never have found the correct diagnosis unless you pushed for the full biopsy.

Don M

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Anything is better than cancer I think!! Congrats on the great news and glad things are going to be ok in Ok.

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Praise be to God!

That is such wonderful news. Anything other than LC is a step up. I pray that mom recovers well from the surgery and the Histoplasmosis. So sorry she had to go through this all in the first place, but hopefully going forward all will be better and life can be lived with a new perspective and appreciation for all of God's blessings and gifts.

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