XRay spot on upper left lung of elderly Father age 91 had a cat scan

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needs a biopsy to determine ,it it is benign or malignant, what evasive action procedures our available? and are their other options to determine if it is cancer or not?


A P.E.T. scan will pretty much tell you for sure if it's cancer or not. The injection they give them is glucose and it lights up only cancer cells. My mom just had one, and it's much more accurate and less stressful. At least that's what she said.
Is a P.E.T. scan risky? and do they put them to sleep for the procedure?
No sedation required, but there is a risk if the person is diabetic. They took my mom's blood sugar before they gave her the shot of glucose to make sure it was okay. She's type 2 diabetic these days. Then she had to lay there and wait for 45minutes for the stuff to go through her body, before she got scanned. She said it's much like the big donut CT scan (not enclosed like the MRI) so it wasn't claustrophobic for her.
If the PET shows it's probably cancer (and as naheaton has said, the scan is not too traumatic a procedure---tell 'em to be sure to give your dad one of their toasty blankets from the blanket oven. They're great), one thing to consider is whether the spot is growing quickly. My mother has a spot that they PET scanned that showed it probably was cancer (October 2009), so they tried to biopsy it in January (I think biopsy confirmation of cancer is required to authorize treatment, though I'm not sure) and the resulting lung collapse (due in large part to my mom's inability to keep her arm raised during the needle biopsy) and ICU stay threw her dementia into full blast. At this point we decided we would not be pursuing any kind of treatment anyway, so we let things ride. In October 2010 the spot shows no growth and no signs of cancer having spread elsewhere. Is it cancer? Maybe, but it's not showing the usual rapid growth and spreading of lung cancer.
I just share that in case your father's PET scan does indicate cancer. Does he want to treat it? The cyberknife treatment they were proposing for mom sounded fairly noninvasive and would have involved very few treatments, but now with her dementia, it would really traumatize her.
Does your father have an advanced directive, someone designated as power of attorney for health and for business, etc.? We tried to get this done before everything started, but mom didn't want to do any of it (she did have signs of oncoming dementia before the lung collapse). Be sure to have all that in place before the medical procedures start.
The best to you on your path. We now are starting down the same road with Dad, whose recent lung x-ray showed a spot. Lung cancer can grow and spread quickly, so you don't want to dawdle if it IS indeed lung cancer, but what if it's something your dad can live with for several years with no growth? You can't know. Tough decisions.
Good luck and best wishes and prayers.

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