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Old 12-05-2005, 07:31 PM   #1
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Small Nodule on CT - what to do?

I recently had an abdominal CT to check for uterine cancer and although that came back unremarkable...the doctor told me the CT detected a small 5mm nodule on one of my lungs...I don't even know which lung. He left this information on my voice mail and I freaked out.

I have smoked off and on since I was 14 years old...I am now 48. When I smoked, I would smoke a year and then not for several years and then smoke a year...off and on. When I did smoke, I would smoke about half a pack to a pack a day. The last time I smoked was a year ago when my brother passed away from an accident. I smoked about 6 months and then quit.

The doctor called me yesterday and told me he did not think the nodule was cancer...though it does not have calcification, and I'm not sure how or why he thinks it's not cancer. The only thing he said was that due to the location and the look of it, he did not think it was cancer. He said it was not directly on the lung...something about the pleural. I've done some reading on the internet and from what I have read, it is very possible to have cancer on the pleural...wherever that is?

I asked him if I should go see a lung specialist and he said no. He said I should have another CT in 3 months...along with another pelvic ultrasound and blood test (for ovarian cancer). All of these tests came about because I asked for ca125 test which showed a slight elevation.

I am worried out of my mind more now about the lung nodule. I'm thinking all kinds of scarey things...like maybe I have some other cancer that is spreading to my lungs. Nothing seems definitive. I've been taking tests for over a month and still do not have an answer. Now it appears I have to wait another 3 months.

My question is, should I go see a pulmonary specialist anyway? Should I try to get a biopsy now instead of waiting 3 months? I'm starting to think my days are numbered.

 
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Old 12-06-2005, 04:15 PM   #2
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Re: Small Nodule on CT - what to do?

I think you should get this checked out IMMEDIATELY. Take your scans to an oncologist who specializes in Lung.

One of the main factors that surround cancer survivors is catching the thing on TIME...if it truly is cancer, and it is so small, it can be taken care of. On the flip side, if it truly is nothing, then you will sleep better at night knowing that it is nothing.

Don't wait 3 months..take my advice, get it checked out throroughly!

 
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Old 12-06-2005, 07:11 PM   #3
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Re: Small Nodule on CT - what to do?

Thanks for the response. I am thinking about it. Problem is, from the reading I've done on the internet...my doctor (who by the way is an ocologist) is following the guidelines....so chances are if I do go to a specialist, he/she will tell me to do the same thing.

Do you have some personal experience with this you can offer?

 
Old 12-07-2005, 08:55 AM   #4
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Re: Small Nodule on CT - what to do?

Hello! I went for a chest/abdominal CT in May of this year for non-lung issues, and the only thing that was found was an 8mm nodule in my right lung. I am 31 and an ex-smoker (probably 3 pack years). I decided to wait 3 months for a rescan and found it had grown just the tiniest bit (to 9.6 mm). I asked for a referral to a pulmonologist who said I could go ahead and get a bronchoscopy, the results of which came back all clear. He did tell me that the only way to know for sure is to surgically remove it but I did not want to do that unless the bronch indicated there was a malignancy, so I opted to wait another 3 months.

I just had my repeat at the end of November and nothing had changed and they must have looked at it much better because the report said there were multiple densely calcified nodules and no indication of malignancy.

I go back for a chest x-ray (not even a CT!) in 6 months, and maybe a few more after that, but I'm fine.

It's been very stressful. I thought for sure I was dying after the second CT scan. I have been able to rearrange my priorities and not ever feel the urge to smoke again. So despite all the stress it's been a blessing.

Good luck.

Monica

 
Old 12-07-2005, 05:49 PM   #5
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Re: Small Nodule on CT - what to do?

Keep up on it. Don't let go of appointments and don't smoke. Monica above has been through the mill and she can be a lot of help to you.

I'll keep you in my thoughts.

Jan

 
Old 12-07-2005, 06:03 PM   #6
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Re: Small Nodule on CT - what to do?

Thank you both so much. My ct results were faxed to me and the nodule is in the left lower lobe. My doctor told me because of the where it is on the lung, it probably is not cancer. I did more internet research and found some sites that indicate studies which show most cancer from smoking is in the upper to middle regions of the lung..not the lower area. In any event, I will most definetely followup with the repeat scans...whatever it takes.

Was wondering about something. The CT I had was an abdominal/pelvic area CT for an unrelated issue like Monica, but not the chest. I don't believe they captured the entire chest/lung area in the CT? I'm worried that possibly there are other nodules that were missed because of this. Will need to call my doctor again to ask about this.

Thanks again for the support. Like you said Monica, I've learned one thing for certain...I will never smoke another cigarette and never expose myself to smoke of any kind. I'm also drinking carrot juice by the gallon and eating spinach by the pound.

 
Old 12-07-2005, 09:04 PM   #7
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Re: Small Nodule on CT - what to do?

My lung cancer was also found when having other test done. All I can stress to you is do not wait on anything. In one year I have had lung, and lymph node cancer. Went through surgery, chemo, and radiation. Now I have brain cancer. all this from a silver dollar size nodule on my upper right lung. You can look up my other post and see what all I have gone through. But PLEASE,PLEASE, PLEASE do not wait on anything. Time is against all cancer patients.
Good Luck.

 
Old 12-08-2005, 04:07 PM   #8
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Re: Small Nodule on CT - what to do?

You need to check this out further. My cat scan just came back recently with a very small nodule on my left middle lobe. My ocologist is arranging for a PET scan. I am a lung cancer survivor so he is taking no chances. However, my initial cancer was found on a chest x-ray March of 2004. When all was said and done I needed surgery and chemo. I firmly believe you need to see a lung specialist. It is always better to get a second or even third opinion.

 
Old 12-08-2005, 05:28 PM   #9
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Re: Small Nodule on CT - what to do?

Yes thanks...I am following the advice of several doctors....5mm or less they do not do biopsies...they make you wait 3 months for a repeat scan-- then again in another 6 months until 2 years.

I can understand the size of a silver dollar, but this is 5mm...less than a quarter of an inch. I'll follow the doctor's advice.

Adarapt...did you have an abdominal ct scan when they found the original nodule? I'm wondering how much of the lung is actually viewable in the scan when an abdominal ct scan is performed.

 
Old 12-13-2005, 12:44 PM   #10
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Re: Small Nodule on CT - what to do?

I went to a pulmonary specialist yesterday and today had a full chest CT scan. As I was leaving I happened to see the images of my lungs and freaked out. I saw a large what looked like a tumor in the left lung 3/4's down. I asked the lab technitian if it was a nodule and he said I needed to speak to my doctor. Now this really freaks me out. I also saw white dots all over both my lungs in the images some smaller than others. To my eye, it looked like tumors everywhere of varing sizes...with one mother tumor on the left.

I called the doctor to see if I could find out today what it was I saw...was told I have to wait 3 days. I am so upset. I called my general practitioner doctor who called the lab and insisted on getting the report today. I am waiting for his call as I write this.

What I saw looked very scary. Of all the images I see of lung ct scans on the internet, I have never seen one before that looked so spotty....hardly any black area. Maybe I saw a very closeup picture, I don't know. Also the big mamma nodule looked spiculated to me (star like). I have now convinced myself of the worse scenario.

 
Old 12-13-2005, 03:56 PM   #11
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Re: Small Nodule on CT - what to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfsista
I went to a pulmonary specialist yesterday and today had a full chest CT scan. As I was leaving I happened to see the images of my lungs and freaked out. I saw a large what looked like a tumor in the left lung 3/4's down. I asked the lab technitian if it was a nodule and he said I needed to speak to my doctor. Now this really freaks me out. I also saw white dots all over both my lungs in the images some smaller than others. To my eye, it looked like tumors everywhere of varing sizes...with one mother tumor on the left.

I called the doctor to see if I could find out today what it was I saw...was told I have to wait 3 days. I am so upset. I called my general practitioner doctor who called the lab and insisted on getting the report today. I am waiting for his call as I write this.

What I saw looked very scary. Of all the images I see of lung ct scans on the internet, I have never seen one before that looked so spotty....hardly any black area. Maybe I saw a very closeup picture, I don't know. Also the big mamma nodule looked spiculated to me (star like). I have now convinced myself of the worse scenario.
Oh dear ... I hope that you get an answer soon. I never once saw my CT scans so I am not sure what they looked like, but the report from the last one sounded all sorts of crazy and scary and it turned out to be "no big deal." Definitely try not to freak out too bad (as I say this I know how impossible this really is).

Let us know what you find out.

Monica

 
Old 12-13-2005, 07:45 PM   #12
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Re: Small Nodule on CT - what to do?

Both doctors called me with the results today after I freaked out. There is a 9mm (not 5mm that the abdominal ct showed just 2 weeks before) on the left lower lobe and a 7 mm on the right lower lobe. So now I have 2, not 1 and the original is actually larger by 4 mm.

Both doctors insist that they do not look like cancer. The pulmonary doctor sent me for all kinds of blood tests including a TB test. Someone in my office was diagnosed with TB 6 months ago and also had nodules (over 2 cm).

So I still don't know what is going on...but a tiny bit releived that what I saw is not a monster tumor growing in the center of my lung. The doctor told me the white spots I saw everywhere were normal. He told me to wait 2 and a half months for another CT. Now at least I have a baseline of both lungs (full pictures).

I'm doing everything I can think to do and can only wait now for the blood test results and the next CT. The internist told me that "non-specific" on a report means it does not look like cancer. I pray he is right...at this point, I'd rather have TB.

 
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Old 12-13-2005, 08:21 PM   #13
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Re: Small Nodule on CT - what to do?

I have lots of nodules all over the place, which were finally described as densely calcified on my third CT scan (but irregular on my second CT scan and only one was mentioned on my first one).

Are you considering a bronchoscopy if your next CT scan shows growth, or are you going to play that by ear when the time comes?


Monica

 
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Old 12-14-2005, 07:24 PM   #14
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Re: Small Nodule on CT - what to do?

Talked to the doctor again today because I am having an allergic reaction to the contrast dye...hives everywhere.

He said the next course will be a pet scan before a biopsy. I hope these doctors know what they are doing.

 
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:17 AM   #15
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Re: Small Nodule on CT - what to do?

I wasn't even offered a PET scan. I know they are extremely expensive so I'm not sure how my insurance would have dealt with that. I would have preferred that over a bronch any day.

Sorry about your allergic reaction!


Monica

 
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