I have a question about my mom's CT scan results that I am wondering if anyone can answer. Results of her scan have identified a mass pressing up against her lung (the Dr said the mass was in the middle of her chest). She was diagnosed with pneumonia in December and the reason the CT scan was ordered is because despite feeling better her Xray looked worse (right upper lobe). The doctor has put her on her a 3rd course of antibiotics and will be scheduling a brochoscopy. Has anyone heard of this? Any idea what this could be? Is it lung cancer if if is located outside the lungs?
I'm kinda going through a similar thing right now. I had cancer surgery 3 years ago and now there is a mass between my pleural and chest wall. I just went in for an ultrasound and more x-rays yesterday as the Oncologist wanted to wait a few weeks from the last X-Rays and see if it changed any before proceeding with new tests probably a needle biopsy. Some cancers do present that way but it can also be scar tissue or an adhesion. In your Mom's case it could have been caused by bleeding during her Pneumonia. Hopefully it's not cancer. I am still waiting to hear from my Doc on the results of my latest stuff..
Dave, Thank you so much for your post and I am so sorry you are going through something similar. Waiting for results is the worst. I have been reading about carcinoids and and wondering if this may be what my mom has. Have you heard of this? Below is some information from the web:
"Central carcinoid tumors start in the large bronchial tubes leading into the lung. People with these tumors may have a cough or cough up bloody sputum, or they may have wheezing symptoms like asthma. Other possible symptoms include shortness of breath and chest pain, especially when taking deep breaths. Large carcinoids can cause partial or complete blockage of a large air passage, leading to a lung infection called post-obstructive pneumonia. Sometimes a doctor may suspect a tumor only after treatment with antibiotics fails to cure the pneumonia."
I find it really interesting because the reason we are going down this path with my mom is because the antiobiotics didnt cure her pneumonia, and she has post-obstructive pneumonia. We meet with the pulmonolgist tomorrow and then will schedule the biopsy. I sure hope it ends up not being cancer.
Carcinoid is exactly what I had removed 3 years ago. Was a 7 cm "typical" carcinoid tumor that required the removal of my right center lobe. To check to see if its carcinoid you can request 5-HIAA urine test and Chromagranin A blood test. If both of those are normal its probably something else.
Thanks for the information Dave. Out of curiousity, what was your prognosis 3 years ago? Are you still waiting on your test results?
We met with the pulmonologist today and he said that he doesn't feel my mom has a carcinoid. He feels that the spots on her CT scan are either infection or cancer. The airway to her right lung is blocked and this has caused part of her right lung to collapse. He scheduled the bronchosopy for Friday and said we can expect results next Tuesday. I asked if he had any thoughts on whether or not it was cancer and he said he couldn't say without the biopsy. We didnt ask if there were any blood markers that were concerning. Are there blood markers for lung cancer? I guess we wait and see. I just lost my father (age 62) 2 yrs ago to cancer, and can't beleive I am going through this again. He was diagnosed at stage IV (sarcoma that started in leg and had spread to the lungs). He lived 14 months after diagnosis. I am tying to be optomistic, but it is very difficult.
Carcinoid is still cancer, just usually (but not always) slower growing than most. Mine was also blocking the airway to most of my right lung. They thought they got it all and nearby lymph nodes were clean so they didn't think it spread. There is also a carbon stain test they did on a sample of it called CD44 that if it comes back positive it means its a type of carcinoid that is less likely to spread. So my prognosis was good and they didn't feel I'd have trouble with it again. I talked to my Oncologist yesterday about my most recent X-Rays and ultrascan and he said it hasn't changed any in the 2 months since the last one but that still doesn't rule out cancer. He is sending my stuff to another Doc for a 2nd opinion. Because of the location of this down in the bottom of my lower right lobe they can't to a broncoscopy They will probably have to do a needle biopsy. Even a CT Scan wouldn't be able to tell for sure what it is so we are not doing that as I have already had enough radiation from all my previous scans to possibly cause a new cancer down the road. I used to be a CT Engineer so I know what they put out and most Doctors don't really seem to know how bad they are.
I lost both my parents within 1.5 years of each other to cancer and it was certainly not nice to go through. My Dad of colon cancer first and then my Mom from esophagus cancer.
Dave, I am so incredibly sorry you lost both of you parents and now are going through this. No one said life is fair, but it sounds like you have been dealt a really ****** hand. The cancer you had 3 years ago sounds so similar to what my mom could have now. It seems like a good sign your scans haven’t changed in the last 2 months. Hopefully your cancer hasn’t retuned. The fact they can’t rule it out is unsettling though. What happens next for you? When do they determine if you have the needle biopsy?
Out of curiosity, did you have a bronchosposy? It seems pretty routine, anything in particular my mom can expect? I am taking her to the appt tomorrow and then we wait. It is going to be a long weekend, that is for sure. I am so afraid we will get the call it is cancer next Tuesday and that means more waiting. I have read the stats on the 5 year survival for lung cancer and they are so depressing. My mom feels great and has no pain, shortness of breath and is barely coughing , so if it is the worst I hope it is early enough she can survive this. It scares me that most cases seem to be discovered when it is too late. I have a 9 month old and a 3 year (both girls) and my mom and I are incredibly close. She also sees my kids constantly. Thank you for all of your posts, it has helped me a lot to have someone who understands.