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Biopsy Necessary?
J.P.
Posted: Monday, June 21, 2010 5:40 PM
Joined: 6/21/2010
Posts: 1


Hi, My 79 year old mom has two tumors on her lower spine that put pressure on the sciatic nerve. She had X-rays and MRI's. The doctors that are treating her (cortisone shots) stated that the tumors are benign. She doesn't want surgery. Family agrees with that. I spoke to a radiologist I know, and she said there are some tumors that they can tell either are or aren't malignant without a biopsy. The images were sent to the doctors at the CyberKnife center and they are requesting a biopsy before deciding if she's a candidate for CyberKnife treatment. Do we need to get the doctors treating her to confir with the doctors at CK? Thanks, J.P.
radsrus
Posted: Monday, June 21, 2010 6:58 PM
Joined: 10/10/2008
Posts: 4435


For the most part, it is pretty easy to tell whether the tumors are benign or malignant. However, there are exceptions. You might want to get another CK opinion to see if everyone agrees

 

Clinton A. Medbery, III, M.D.
St. Anthony Hospital Cyberknife Center
(405) 272-7311
buddy@swrads.org

Mail to:
Clinton A. Medbery, III, M.D.
Southwest Radiation Oncology
1011 N. Dewey Ave. #101
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

 


Dr. J
Posted: Monday, June 21, 2010 8:38 PM
Joined: 10/11/2008
Posts: 1070


I greatly prefer a biopsy, whenever possible. Sometimes I treat without one, especially when the biopsy procedure would be considered dangerous, such as due to the location near a critical structure, or perhaps because of some medication that the patient may be taking (such as anticoagulants for example). No matter how much a tumor looks benign or malignant, there is always the possibility of error without pathologic confirmation. I think we would all agree that it is far better to treat with it than without it. If a patient refuses a biopsy procedure, I am perfectly willing to treat without that information so long as the patient and family members understand the situation thoroughly and accept the possibility of a mis-diagnosis.

 

Jerome J. Spunberg, M.D., FACR, FACRO
CyberKnife Center of Palm Beach
jspunberg@radiationoncologyinstitute.com
(561) 799-2828

 

Radiation Oncology Institute
10335 N. Military Trail, Suite C
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
(561) 624-1717


radsrus
Posted: Monday, June 21, 2010 8:46 PM
Joined: 10/10/2008
Posts: 4435


Actually, a lot of spine tumors can be reliably characterized without biopsy, such as meningiomas and schwannomas. But if the tumor is in the spine itself, rather than just outside the bone, then that is different. We could take a look at the scans if you wish.

 

Clinton A. Medbery, III, M.D.
St. Anthony Hospital Cyberknife Center
(405) 272-7311
buddy@swrads.org

Mail to:
Clinton A. Medbery, III, M.D.
Southwest Radiation Oncology
1011 N. Dewey Ave. #101
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

 


 

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