Hello, First let me say I am glad to hear we are talking about a 3mm not a 3 cm nodule. I told you I would ask my friend a pulmonary doctor why doctors often want to wait to check out a spot in the lungs. Well here is what he wrote back and I have copied and pasted it for all to see not that it really answers the question like I had hoped. But anyway this is what he says. And I have never seen him make a decision for any of his patients so know he would say we can wait and see, we can do Pet scan, we can do a biopsy then allow the patient to decide. My mom had her 3rd dose of Alimta today so I am hoping she tolerates it as well as the previous two. Hope all is going well for all of you reading this and below is the reply from the doctor.
. JanMarie This is a complicated question. First, people don't realize that lung
cancer (the usual type) is very slow growing. It takes 6 to 10 years
for a malignant cell to become large enough to even see on CXR. Having
said that, however, a 3 cm nodule is always worrisome. Reasons we
sometimes delay a procedure such as a biopsy is that we feel the patient
has too severe lung disease to tolerate a biopsy or that even if cancer
is diagnosed it will not make a difference. However, the way I handle
it is to be honest and to give the patient choices. I never make the
choice for them, although I may make a strong recommendation.
Unfortunately, catching a lung cancer by six months on a CT scan or even
12 months early has not been proven to prolong survival. It only leads
to an earlier diagnosis and something that is called lead time bias. I
am happy to discuss this more with you if I am not making sense.