Topic: Biopsy results

My husband had three good tissue samples taken from his tumor and the results were suspicious but non-specific. Has anyone ever had a biopsy result like that? I assumed they would have a definitive answer as to the type of tumor. I have toyed with the idea of having his slides sent to John Hopkins but I don't know if it would be any different.I would appreciate any opinions. The Drs. heve been treating him with the assumption that it is a malignant, Klatskin tumor. Thank-you. Mary

Re: Biopsy results

Hi Mary,
My husband had two separate biopsies.  7 core samples were removed.  All samples came back benign.  Thankfully, we took his slides to the University of Pennsylvania Hospital where the liver specialist took them in front of a tumor board.  The doctors felt the tumor was suspicious and we agreed to have it removed.  My husband's tumor turned out to be cholangiocarcinoma.  I would move forward and take the slides to another hospital.  Better safe than sorry.  I still to this day do not know how core samples can be benign and it miss the cancer.  Best of luck.
Joyce

Re: Biopsy results

Thank-you Joyce,
     He is actually being treated for cholangiocarcinoma regardless of the results of the biopsies. I just always have hope in the back of my mind that it may be benign . He is being treated at OSU Medical Center and they present his case to their tumor board as well. In fact they will be doing it again after his next scan on the 18th. They attempted surgery in July but his tumor was just a little bit too far into the right bile duct. They were going to remove the left duct and 1/2 of his liver. Since his chemo and radiation treatments the tumor has shrunk enough in the left duct that they were able to easily place a catheter in it for brachytherapy several weeks ago. Last summer it was completely obstructed. They feel very confident  that the tumor has shrunk enough in the right duct that they can successfully perform the surgery now. The problem is that they really won't know for sure until they operate again. I just hate that he would go through all that for nothing again. He is doing very well right now and feels the best he has for months.
                                                         Mary

Re: Biopsy results

nomich,
   My husband is still being treated at OSU. He had an attempted resection but they were unable to do it. The tumor was in both ducts enough that they couldn't take the chance of trying to remove it. He underwent IMRT radiation therapy along with Xeloda and then brachytherapy. They can not see his tumor at all now and we did go to Pittsburgh and they said the same thing. I don't necessarily believe that it is gone but it has responded greatly to the treatments so far. It was the size of a golf ball in June. Any way as far as surgery I don't know what is best. The Drs. at Pittsburgh and at OSU do not think it should be done because they aren't sure my husband would make it through it. At this time they feel he is doing very well and they basically told him that a hospital was no place to die and that's what might happen if they attempted the surgery now.I guess thats a choice your mother has to make but a second opinion is a good idea. I'm glad we went to PA and since they said the same thing as OSU I feel confident in their opinion! Good Luck. Mary

Re: Biopsy results

hi mary,

     thanks for the information.   we have confidence in the drs,and really like them so i think that is good.      it seems alot of people on the message boards go for 2nd opinions, but i don't know if my mother will want to go elsewhere.

    biliary cancers are not straight forward at all.  i believe the drs do their very best, but are sometimes surprised by findings during surgery, biopsies, treatments, etc. 
of course , it is human nature to second guess everything and everyone when the life of a loved one is at stake.

     best of luck to your husband.

Re: Biopsy results

nomich(igan?),
     It just dawned on me that that is what nomich is short for?! Hey at least OSU beat Mich- that was the real championship game. Have the Drs. suggested radiation or chemo for your mother? It seems like that is the normal course after surgery. Did Dr Bloomston perform her surgery? My husband was his first patient after being hired at OSU. It seemed like we had our own personal surgeon for a little while. He is very busy now. 2 surgeries in 2 months is a lot. I'm sure your mother needs to build up her strength before any thing else is done. We are all in a hurry to move these treatments along but sometimes a person needs a chance to heal and build up their natural immunity.                  Best wishes!! Mary

Re: Biopsy results

It is so hard to make decisions about having surgery or not. From my husband's experience, I am so thankful that he didn't have surgery which was the only option for cure. His tumor on the liver was 7 cm. and into the bile ducts. Surgeons at Cleveland Clinic said it was too much of a risk being too close to the portal vein. We were devastated to learn this. Now we feel so blessed that he didn't have the surgery. He is feeling fine and still does not have symptoms. He was diagnosed the first of Sept.'06 -- looks healthier than ever. He sees an oncologist, but the doctor is not starting any treatments of chemo until there are symptoms. We are living one day at a time and enjoying life.  ~  Jean

Re: Biopsy results

Jean,
    Your husband is very lucky to be doing so well. It just shows how difficult this disease is to diagnose and treat. Everyone seems to be so different! My husband's only problem seems to be with stent infection. He had to have them in earlier because his ducts were blocked  but I am hoping that if there is no recurrence of the tumor that they will take the remaining one out and just see if he does alright. We are doing the same as you, just enjoying each day- (although we are stuck in cold Ohio) and being thank-ful he is doing well! Take care and best wishes for continued good health!                                   Mary

Re: Biopsy results

Hi All,
Finished cycle two of oxy and xo today.  This round went a heck of a lot better than first one.  Just the standard nuerophathy and staying away from cold things; touching and drinking.  Follow-up with Oncologist March 1st to see if ready to do another CT or do another round.  Blood work fine today but have to wait on CA-19 marker results.  my weight was down to 185lbs which is suppose to be my ideal weight. So now I'll be watching my weight very closely.  In 8 years I've gone from 216lbs down to 185 only 31lbs drop which I contribute to a little healthier eating, smaller portions and staying active as possible.  I think my stomach shrunk a little. Ha!  Well, the next few months will tell the true story.  If weight keeps falling we all will know the true story.  The Easter Bunny is just around the corner!!! ;]
Jeff G.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)

Re: Biopsy results

Hi Jeff

I am really pleased to hear that your current chemo treatment is going well.  I will keep my fingers (and anything else) crossed for you and your upcoming CT scan.  I now appreciate what a difficult time it is when you are waiting for the CT results.  On the other hand, if you weren't expecting to be around to have the scan then any results are good; just some are better than others.  I also appreciate how beneficial having a sense of humour is.  You certainly have that and it is obviously doing you the world of good.  Keep the faith!

All the best

Ron