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He states “most certainly cancerous”. Mom in good health no complaints. Should I proceed with surgery? What can I expect post surgery?

That sounds pretty uncomfortable. I'd do whatever it took to make sure she was comfortable. Do you have a palliative care group you can consult?
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Reply to anonymous594015
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I am curious what has happened.

I would take a look for yourself, a fungated mass means that it appears to have a fungus, dead cells and bad odor. It is typically a cancerous tumor, not always but even if not cancerous it can't heal properly. I would look.

Let us know what you decide and how mom is doing. I would also like to ask, how are you doing?
Hugs for caring for mom!
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Sunflo, so many posters have been shocked at the mental decline of their loved one from surgery.

It sounds like Russian roulette at 96. Mass removed, patient declines into dementia. Mass not removed and is cancerous, patient declines. Mass not cancerous, not removed, patient continues status quo.

As everyone suggests get a second opinion with an actual diagnosis, right now you are being scheduled for surgery without a diagnosis and that is a red flag. To many doctors use patients as Guinea pigs and it is unconscionable that they do it, but they do.

I would be a broken record, what's the diagnosis? What's the prognosis? What are all the treatment options? I wouldn't let them touch her without getting the above answered.

Good luck, never an easy situation.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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First, get a second opinion from another Dr. Secondly, if it is cancer this is probably the secondary, which means the primary cause is some where eles in her body. This is just my opinion.

Surgery is very dramatic on the body and the older we get the harder it is to recover. Post-op will be difficult and long. Make sure you ask lots of questions. And please see another Dr and not just the plasic surgeon who is not going to be able to tell you if the mass is cancer or not. They really should biopsy it.
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Reply to Shell38314
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Thanks everyone—your thoughts are my thoughts. The memory care physician had noticed this lump earlier this summer and wanted to have remeoved and for same reasons mentioned above, anesthesia, picking at bandages, possible infections or mom having paper thin skin—frankly I just see a longer more complicated healing process than a younger person. So I refused surgery at that time.

mom in great health other than memory. To be honest I haven’t seen the lump as I don’t see her undressed very often.

lump however has grown to size of half orange according to surgeon and he said he can remove but plastic surgeons would have to close because of its size. NO-they did not biopsy or draw fluid or do other diagnostics. He is basing his “most certaintly cancerous” based on visuals. I was disappointed but when he called to talk, mom was in background very cantankerous and kept insisting she was fine. I expected them to X-ray area or take a biopsy but sometimes they do this with surgery. Supposedly it was seeping.

Ive expressed my post-surgery recovery concerns to him but they seem to think they have good chance of getting it all.

i plan on making appt with plastic surgeon an getting his opinion.

My my first instinct is to refuse any surgery; but I would hate this to really be invasive cancer and then she have to lose her leg or something because of my negligence. On the other hand, I don’t want to proceed and then have it be an infection, non healing wound, that goes on and on and makes her miserable and requires constant dr or nurse visits or something memory care facility can’t manage. I’m long distance (6hrs).

thanks again all.
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Reply to Sunflo
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At her advanced age is she even a good candidate for surgery? Will she be able to endure or want to participate in the rehab after surgery? Is she close to expiring? What is her quality of life right now? Get answers to these questions after necessary tests.. I know if it was my father I would not recommend anymore surgeries .. he is no longer a candidate.. and he never fully recovers from each surgery and continues to decline and is no compliant in his doing his physical therapy on his own... so now he is bedridden at home
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Reply to Sherry1886
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Hoping you will have enough information to make a good decision on behalf of
your Mom, Sunflo.
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Reply to Sendhelp
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Always a second opinion when surgery is recommended.
Not talking about his associate down the hall.
See a doctor affiliated with a teaching hospital.
Questions to ask Dr.:
Ask how aggressive is this type of Ca?
Are any surrounding tissues involved or need to be removed?
Is it growing? Fungating-has broken through the skin?
Did he check anywhere else for metastases (Ca in other places of body).
Was a chest x-ray done?

Can it be done without general anesthesia? What are the choices of anesthesia?

The doctor should explain what to expect after surgery.

What is the prognosis, meaning will the surgery heal it?

Sorry, you don't have to write out the answers to these questions. You must already be overwhelmed with such a big decision.

We are here to support you, Sunflo.
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Reply to Sendhelp
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Has hospice been consulted?
My Dad had a blood test show that he probably had cancer somewhere.  The first test (Upper GI) was uncomfortable for him, as was transport and the waiting.  He was clear headed in the mornings, and chose to have no more tests.  He asked the Dr. what they'd do if they found it?  He would probably die from the surgery or chemo, and did not want to satisfy his doctor's scientific curiosity by having more tests.
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Reply to GrannieAnnie
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Sunflo, the doctor said "most certainly cancerous"??? Has he drawn out any fluid or cells to be certain?

Is this mass showing behind the knee, thus pushing out the skin? If yes, it could something as simple as an extra large cyst filled with skin cells. Those can be removed by numbing the area.

I would recommend getting a second opinion from a dermatologist who can remove such skin masses. At least you and your Mom would know for sure and give you more clarity.
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Reply to freqflyer
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Hard decision because of the Dementia. It could worsen if she is put under. Then its recovery. Will she pick at the bandages? If they remove it, I would not do chemo. Not fair for her to go thru the side effects.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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At 96? I don't know, I'd ask what happens if you do nothing. It seems to me that unless leaving it would cause a lot of pain and misery I can't see that surgery would gain her anything, it may do just the opposite.

(edit) I've been doing a little reading on line, if the surgery is done with understanding that this kind if malignancy at her age is likely terminal but the aim is to improve quality of life for the time she has left then it may be worth considering. This is a terrible choice to have to make, I think the best you can do is talk to the various members of her healthcare team about their goals and about a realistic prognosis with or without surgery.
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