Re: shadow on chest xray
This is my first day on this site. I see nobody has responded so I thought I would. I also had a nodule (shadow) found on my lung on a chest xray they did when I went to the ER with chest pain and cough. turned out i had pneumonia. I had 2 ct scans done in the hospital, no change. Then a PET scan was ordered, which showed low grade uptake (SUV max 1.8). Based on the low uptake they think it is benign but there is a small (about 25%) chance it is cancer. I am meeting with a surgeon tomorrow to set up surgery to remove it.
To directly answer your question, YES, it can be something other than cancer. Of course, that fact that she is a smoker is not good and cancer cannot be ruled out and must be excluded. Nonetheless, the nodule could be from the pneumonia, from an old infection or old scar tissue of some sort. It could also be a harmatoma, sarcoidosis, or a granuloma (all of these are benign). Anywhere from 60%-70% of these nodules are benign.
So, try your best not to worry too much and just take the information as it comes and be strong for her and support her the best you can. Good luck to you and your mom.