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Biopsy Results

Denise C

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My husband had a needle biopsy of 3 lymph nodes in his chest.   After the procedure the doctor informed my husband that one of the lymph nodes looked susupecious that is why she decided to take a biopsy of lymph nodes from other "stations" in his chest.    Whe went on to say he has stage iiia cancer and his treatment would be agressive chemo followed by the removal of his left upper lung.  We received a call on Tuesday at 4 PM informing us that the biopsy showed no signs of cancer.  My husband hung up the phone and we did the dance of Joy!  Well at 6 PM we received a call from the surgeon infomring us that my husband needs a procedure called mediastinoscopy where they will make a small cut in his upper chest and put a scope down and cut a piece of the lymph node to biopsy that.  As they want to ensure the first biopsy is accurate and that the sample they took was enough.  As the biopsy of the suspicious lymph node showed dead cells.    Keep in mind my husband also has a 1.1 CM nodule in his left upper lung that they have not biopsed yet as they want to determine if the lymph node in his chest is concerous or not first. 

My question is...has anyone experienced this before?  Where a biopsy comes back and there is no sign of cancer but because the surgeon thought the lymph node looked suspicous and there were only  dead cells that the next step was another more in-depth biopsy?  

Thank you,


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My biopsy was performed by mediastinoscopy.  The size and location of my tumor was self-evident for cancer and my doctors wanted to check lymph node involvement.  The could and did also biopsy the primary tumor using this method.

Needle biopsies are difficult. A 1.1cm nodule is a hard target -- about the size of a Chapstick applicator top. And getting a good sample using interventional techniques is problematic.

I quickly recovered from the incision in the throat and the procedure was no big deal.  I do hope the results mirror the 3 lymph node results.

Stay the course.


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Denise chasing lymph nodes for biopsy is stressful and I'm in that position at the moment and about to have some radiotherepy on 1 but with your dad I think they are being extra cautious which is better than just wait and see because it can be arrested sooner if they know what they are dealing with..good luck to you and your dad ..

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