First off, I am a 37 year old male in reasonably good shape. I am also a non-smoker and have never really been in the habit. I did try smoking for a few weeks when I was 13 (cigarillos) and then again for a few weeks when I was 16 (cigarettes). Although we are talking 20-25 years ago, I would guess that all of my smoking amounted to maybe 3-4 weeks of my life when added together. As I was trying to hide it from my parents, I do not recall even smoking regularly during those time periods.
As for the issue at hand I am just at the beginning of this and I am not sure how much I should worry. Thus I thought I would ask yet if I am getting to far ahead of myself I do apologize.
For years I have had chest pains and shortness of breath. Due to this I have seen a cardiologist as most doctors thought it was heart related and nothing really has been found, but the cardiologist thought I might have inappropriate sinus tachycardia. Several years ago I also saw a pulmonologist, yet nothing was deemed wrong.
For a few months the musculature around my left elbow has hurt and my wife (a physical therapist) and my general doctor both concluded it was indeed muscle related. Perhaps 3-4 weeks ago my left shoulder began to hurt around the joint and the bicep, but I did not go in as I thought it was possibly due to the elbow issue. Plus I had a yearly physical due soon, thus it did not seem overly important. Also, for the last week or two I have had headaches and some lightheadedness.
As a part of my yearly physical, which I had at the end of May, I always have a chest x-ray done yet this time a few nonspecific, subcentimeter nodular densities were found in the left upper lung. These densities were not seen on a chest x-ray I had in 02/09. As a follow-up, on Wednesday of last week I had a non-contrast CT scan as a follow-up in order to better elucidate the lung nodules. I had to have a non-contrast CT scan as I am allergic to the compounds used in the contrast (both BaSO4 and the iodine do not seem to sit well with me even with an allergy protocol).
Since the initial diagnosis I have been rather upset as my mother died of cancer. Specifically she had breast cancer and lung cancer, of which the latter came up late in her illness before she died. It is unclear why she had lung cancer as she was a non-smoker, thus perhaps it was from the breast cancer issue.
Also, over the last few days my left arm has grown in its pain, and now I feel a lot of numbness down the arm and fingers (plus this morning I awake to find my lymph glands swollen and painful in the left armpit). I do not know if this is from my general worry, as I have had a bit of trouble sleeping over the last few days and felt a bit under the weather.
I am, as noted, rather worried about this and do not know if I should be as concerned as I am. Could this be lung cancer due to the symptoms (chest pains, shortness of breath, lung nodules, left shoulder/arm pain and numbness, headaches and some lightheadedness. etc.) or something else such as sarcoidosis, fungal/bacterial infection (I live in Florida), etc.?
Also, even if the non-contrast CT scan comes back good should I risk the contrast one? Should I ask for a PET scan to be as sure as possible?
I think the worst thing in all this is not knowing, especially since these nodules seemed to appear so fast.
Thank you for all the help and advice!