62-year-old black man with a two inch (that’s inch; not centimeter) lump under his left arm. It is determined that he needs to have it biopsied in order to tell for sure what it is. The differential diagnosis includes a simple reactive lymph node, lymphoma, leukemia, granuloma, sarcoidosis, and several other more esoteric entities, all of which require tissue for definitive pathologic diagnosis.
Patient Who Will Not be Reassured: What is it, Doctor Dino?
Me: We won’t know for sure until we get the report from the biopsy.
PWWNBR: But what do you think it is?
Me: I have no idea. We have to see what the pathologist says.
PWWNBR: Could it be cancer?
Me: It could be any one of several different things. Yes, cancer could be one of them, but there’s no way of knowing without the biopsy.
PWWNBR: Dr. Dino, do I have cancer? Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Dinosaur*