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Old 09-12-2006, 11:59 AM   #1
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How accurate are Cat Scans in detecting lung cancer?

How accurate are Cat Scans in detecting lung cancer?I know thw Cat Scan I was in was a GE Lightspeed scanner that looked like a big donut and they shot dye in me. I felt warm when they did.

Last edited by mr_panicky; 09-12-2006 at 12:00 PM.

 
Old 09-12-2006, 01:26 PM   #2
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Re: How accurate are Cat Scans in detecting lung cancer?

Cat Scans find the mass in the lungs or else where but until further tests are done they do not know if it is cancer or not. It usually takes Pet Scans and biopseys to know if it is cancer thou doctors can make an educated guess from a cat scan but those guesses can be wrong! Hang in there . Janmarie

 
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Old 09-12-2006, 03:07 PM   #3
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Re: How accurate are Cat Scans in detecting lung cancer?

I think I should have been more specific.

I had the test done (X-Ray & CT Scan) and they found nothing.

That was the reason for the question. I didn't mean to make it so general.

 
Old 09-12-2006, 03:21 PM   #4
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Re: How accurate are Cat Scans in detecting lung cancer?

Ct Sans are the way to go, although they cannot be 100% sure whether the nodule or lesion is benign or maligment, or whether it is something else...but Radiologists are usually good at determining whether the mass is cancer by the shape it has, usually round normal nodules are not cancer...if they see round nodules with lines or outlines then that would be considered suspicious...

I had a CT Scan and it showed 3 nodules, all three of them were 3mm in size which is quite small, the radiologist noted that these nodules/lesions are highly probably benign, my board certified pulmonogist tended to agree when looking at the scans, however he said that he would do a bronscopy on me since the scan was 6 weeks ago to make sure that nothing has changed, otherwise I have to go in for scans every 3 months for the next 2 years to see if there are any changes....that is the hard part...hoping that he is able to biopsy these things so that I can clear my mind...

 
Old 09-12-2006, 04:27 PM   #5
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Re: How accurate are Cat Scans in detecting lung cancer?

I am glad to hear the Cat scan and X-ray are normal but may I ask why you had them done? Are you feeling short of breath?

I ask this as 4 years prior to learning my mom had stage IV lung cancer she went to the doctor with the complaint of feeling short of breath, they did pulmonary function tests, a cardiac work up and everything was normal so they next did a Cat Scan to see if she maybe had a pulmonary embolism..well that scan came back clean as a whistle. The shortness of breath continued she was not wheezey just felt short of breath .About 2 years later she started sweating alot which they thought might be a blood sugar isuue and sent her home with a glucose monitor, next she lost alot of weight and just felt tired all the time still no reason found.But no further CT was done. Finally she got very short of breath and went to urgent care ( this is 4 years since that clean CT) and this time they found she had a pleural effusion which turned out to be maligant and this time the CT showed a 7 cm tumor in her right lung which did not show up on the x-ray that found the effusion. Careful re-examination of the first CT still finds nothing there .

I am sharing this not to scare you but to say if what ever problem took you to the doctor in the first place does not go away do not let the doctors just drop the ball make sure they monitor you as had that happened with my mom maybe they would have caught this at Stage I and she would have a real chance of surviving. Maybe they will never find anything as what ever you have it is idiopathic which I hope is the case but it is better save then sorry. JanMarie

 
Old 09-12-2006, 04:36 PM   #6
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Re: How accurate are Cat Scans in detecting lung cancer?

Sorry to hear about your mom, 4 years is a long time for something to show up...I am not sure how fasy tumors can grow but I am assuming that can happen in 4 years...I just said that good radiologists can often see in the CT Scan whether a nodule or lesion can be a cancerous tumor by the way it presents itself...usually in the report it will say something like suspicious, maligment cannot be ruled out, seek oncologists, etc..

Mine simply said the nodules and lesions are highly probably benign..meaning they did not show characteristics of being cancerous...when discussing with my Pulmogolist he said they often see these type of small lesions and nodules and they can tell by the chsracteristics whether these can be benign, meaning scar tissue or something of that nature...however they do ask that you follow up every 3 months for 2 years to make sure there are no changes...I trust my doctor, he asked me if I wanted a bronscopy to take a look inside although he said they are teo small right now to biospy, but it has been 6 weeks so I figured I would have him take a look to see if anything has changed...he also mentioned a PET SCAN but also said that those can also offer many false positives...so right now it would be a bronscopy followed by a CT scan in another month or so...

 
Old 09-12-2006, 06:11 PM   #7
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Re: How accurate are Cat Scans in detecting lung cancer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janmarie2
I am glad to hear the Cat scan and X-ray are normal but may I ask why you had them done? Are you feeling short of breath?
Did your mom smoke? Just curious.

I have asthma and allergic to animals, specifically cats. I have a cat. lol

I take Singulair but due to my temporarily bad financial situation I ran out and didn't get my prescription refilled. 1-3 days after I quit my breathing difficulties began again and my inhaler would help.

This is typical of 2 and 3 years ago when I stopped taking my Singulair and the change in season hit, kinda like right now, and I got a chest cold and was given anti-biotics and resumed my Singulair.

In 2000 the same thing happened in early October.

My chest situation cleared up and I hardly ever hit my inhaler. My breathing difficulty increased with my weight as well.

But to answer your exact question I was sitting at my PC and I got this intense taste of blood in my mouth on the tip of my tongue under my gums. I stuck my tongue out and there was blood. I walked into the bathroom spit in the sink and there was blood. Over the next 5-10 minutes the blood greatly diminished as if I had a cut in my gum that healed up.

I never coughed any blood up nor even coughed period. 5 minutes later I am driving and I coughed up some phlegm and it was very clear.

I did chew up 3 magnesium tablets and I wonder if the granules (that stay in your mouth forever)

The blood tests came back good and the cat scan as well.

He thinks possibly pneumonia but I think the blood was from my mouth.

I looked up symptoms of leukemia and based on the blood tests from 8-16-06 and lastnight I feel the Docs would have said something and I my WBC is actually very normal.

 
Old 09-12-2006, 07:15 PM   #8
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Re: How accurate are Cat Scans in detecting lung cancer?

No my mom did not smoke nor did an inhaler help her at all as I said her pulmonary function tests were 100% normal.

Your problem does sound like it is probably your asthma since when you can afford the meds you get better as asthma is a reversible airway obstruction, changes from cancer are not so they would not really respond to an inhaler or other asthma meds. Asthma can be a bummer and the drugs to treat it can be so expensive.

In my moms case nothing helped with the shortness of breath ( SOB) which must have been due to microscopic changes in her lung tissue from the cancer before it was visible by any test. So I just suggest that people that have shortness of breath that they can find no cause after all the tests not just let it drop and learn to live with it but to instead have periodic checks with the doctors until they can find the cause. I am still amazed that when my mom started loosing weight that the doctor did not start putting it all together,unexplained SOB , sweats, fatigue, weight loss but they didn't and my mom is paying the price. And No she did not cough alot or cough up blood.

As for the blood it could have come from your mouth, your nose/sinuses and drained down your throat or even a popped blood vessel in your throat.

Now that I know you have asthma I don't think you need to be concerned if your scans came back normal and your asthma can be controlled with proper meds. Take care JanMarie

 
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