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Have you ever heard of a lab contaminating a biopsy?

Have you ever heard of a lab contaminating a biopsy?

Posted by ZinaWarriorPrincess on Oct 30, 2018 4:36 pm

Heya everyone,

i just met met with my surgeon who did both my surgeries: the mediastinoscopy in which I was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma in my lymph nodes then the lung nodule biopsy that resulted in a histoplasmosis diagnosis.

the surgeon confirmed that the lymph node biopsied on the left side that showed cancer actually had not lit up on the PET scan.  He said he normally biopsies lymph nodes in each zone, so the fact that we found cancer there is even more confusing. 

In addition, no primary lung cancer has been found.  

The surgeon is suggesting he contact the original lab who managed my samples (2 other labs have confirmed adenocarcinoma)  and ask that they do genetic testing and confirm the sample that has tested positive for cancer is actually my sample.  He is hoping that a serious cross contamination has not happened, but if it did, we need to know.  

Honestly, I just don't know what to think or what to feel. Maybe I don't have cancer??? Maybe I do?  If I don't...great and ***k!!!!  This has been hell. 

But it if I do have cancer....all the extra tests and time means it can spread. 


Has has anyone ever heard of this???  What are the chances a screw up has happened?

ZinaWarriorPrincess

Re: Have you ever heard of a lab contaminating a biopsy?

Posted by Elsie13 on Oct 31, 2018 10:05 pm

ZinaWarriorPrincess‍  Oh my goodness, I just skimmed this article, that's quite alarming:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/26/health/the-lab-says-its-cancer-but-sometimes-the-lab-is-wrong.html 
Also: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/what-everyone-should-know-about-lab-tests/

Re: Have you ever heard of a lab contaminating a biopsy?

Posted by Renu on Nov 1, 2018 12:47 am

This is unbelievable.  Scary in a way.   The shock of finding out one day you have cancer, and then the next moment you are informed you don't have cancer. Such mixed emotions and fear must go through anyone's mind.  Mistakes happens they say, but there has to be a better way to be more cautious with the patient's biopsy to assure there's no mix up.  

Re: Have you ever heard of a lab contaminating a biopsy?

Posted by ZinaWarriorPrincess on Nov 1, 2018 1:28 am

Hi Renu, 

To clarify:  I have not been told I was given the wrong diagnosis, but the medical team things it is a possibility because my medical info does not make sense. 

1.  Adenocarcinoma with no primary Tumour and in an area in which no lymph nodes lit up on the PET scan.. 

Of course, I have been researching online.  

2% of adenocarcinoma diagnosed in lymph nodes do not have a primary cancer identified. So yes, rare, but not unheard of. 

Also, not all cancers are identified on a PET scan.  Unusual, but it does happen. 

So having hope that maybe  there was a mix up in the lab and I donothave cancer feels wrong right now.  Plus, I just can't endure having this type of hope to have it all squashed by confirmation that the biopsy sample is genetically mine. 

I am am glad they are checking, but I just cannot be hopeful.  

I am off to Princess Margaret Hospital tomorrow for a consult.  

Will keep everyone posted. 

Thanks

z

Re: Have you ever heard of a lab contaminating a biopsy?

Posted by jorola on Nov 1, 2018 6:21 am

ZinaWarriorPrincess‍ I am sorry to hear that you seem to be left with more questions than answers.
Yes you are correct PET scans are not reliable for detecting cancer and can actually "light up" areas that are not even cancerous. As you were probable told, you are injected with a glucose (sugar) solution that contains a very small amount of radioactive material. This solution is then attracted to specific types of cells  - damaged cells, cancerous cells, any cells with heavy activity. That is why only biopsies can be used to confirm the presence of cancer.
I have added this link for you as well if you have not already seen it.
http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/diagnosis-and-treatment/tests-and-procedures/positron-emission-tomography-pet-scan/?region=on
The best, but hardest thing for you to do right now, is take it step by step. May your consult go well and answers come your way.
Jodie

Re: Have you ever heard of a lab contaminating a biopsy?

Posted by ZinaWarriorPrincess on Nov 1, 2018 9:46 pm

Heya  friends!  Great visit at Princess Margaret Hospital today.  

1.  I do not have sarcoidosis in my lymph nodes on my right side (as diagnosed previously), but do have evidence of histoplasmosis.  (Same fungal infection as lung nodule).

2.  In light of the above, the oncologist believes strongly that I MAY NOT HAVE CANCER!   We reviewed the pathology reports and the doctor believes the pathologists should re examine the cancer and determine if it is actually histoplasmosis.  The doctor will ask for this to be done. 

3.  To determine if the above is true, I am being scheduled for another biopsy surgery at Princess Margaret.  This should happen in the next few weeks.

4.  If the next biopsies cannot rule out cancer, then we have agreed upon next steps which will be a variety of medical tests again and these tests will be at Princess Margaret. 

Ultimately, I thaI am actually most hopeful and believe prayers are being answered.  Even if it is still cancer (I honestly believe it may not be), I can sleep better knowing we have a plan either way!

thanks for all your support.  



Z

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