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Old 01-07-2004, 10:36 AM   #1
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llovell67 HB User
3mm lung nodule - scared!

I'm new to the boards and need some reassurance. I'm 37 years old and for my birthday, I 'treated' myself to a full-body scan. My doc called and said everything was normal except that I had a 3 mm non calcified nodule in one of my lungs. She said to come back for a CT scan in 3-6 months. I called her back and told her that I didn't want to wait that long to find out if it was cancerous or not. She said that it was so small that they couldn't do any other testing on it at this time. Is that true? I am a smoker (3-7 cigs per day) and am very concerned. She said that it could just be some old scarring or something, but that doesn't make me feel any better!

Is there a difference in calcified and non calcified? And does that determine the benign-ness of a nodule?

Any help would be appreciated! Thanks much!

 
Old 01-07-2004, 11:14 AM   #2
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eilrash HB User
Re: 3mm lung nodule - scared!

Hey! Try to relax a litte...I have just been through this in NOvember right after Thanksgiving. My nodule is 8mm and is also non calcified. I also demanded a boipsy until i did further research and decided to do the wait and see approach for three months and get another ct in early March. The reason for this is that your nodule could be a million different things..its only natural to think that it might be cancer..i did the same thing. Also there are many risks associated with doing biopsys on the lungs...so until you get your follow up ct or xray and if the nodule has changed at all is the only time i'd really recommend you talk to your dr. about getting a biopsy. Do you live in the south or near the mississippi river? The reason I ask is that there is a specific fungus that is very common along this area that exposes you to getting these nodules..and they are harmless. Some of them become calcified after a while and some (few) stay non calcified. You might have been exposed recently to this type of fungus and not even known it. It can also be related to being exposed to TP, pneumonia, other types of lung infections, asbestos and a million other things. But try not to worry over the next few months while you are waiting your results from your follow up ct or xray. Keep me informed. I hope this helped....Keep in touch!!!

Sharlie

 
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Old 01-07-2004, 11:17 AM   #3
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eilrash HB User
Re: 3mm lung nodule - scared!

I forgot to tell you that during my research I also found out that nodules are less of a concern when they are under 1-2 cm, which yours is. Also, if they are symetric meaning that they are near or a perfect circle. Also if you only have one nodule rather than multiple is also less of a concern. Cancer nodules have a tendency to look less perfectly round. Again, I hope this helped you!!

Sharlie

 
Old 01-07-2004, 12:07 PM   #4
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llovell67 HB User
Re: 3mm lung nodule - scared!

Thanks, Sharlie!
Yes, your email helped. Let's keep each other posted on how our second ct's come out. Why did you get your chest x-ray in the first place?

Also - if you or anyone else out there has any advice on quitting smoking....it would surely be appreciated!!!

Thanks again!

 
Old 01-07-2004, 05:40 PM   #5
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Talking Re: 3mm lung nodule - scared!

Yes, let's keep in touch! I got my x ray the Monday after Thanksgiving because I started getting short of breath on Sunday and could barely get off the couch w/ out needing to rest and feeling completely pooped. I wasn't coughing or anything but I was just whooped. I was also having really really bad pain right above my sternum and on the left lung area. So they did the xray thinking it was pneumonia or bronchitis and they came back neg, but they found the "spot" on my lung. So they had me get a ct scan to get a better picture of it and all the radiologist said was that it was an 8mm non calcified, non specific pleural based nodule..blah blah blah. :~) I went to one pulmnologist and he was horrible and rude so I got a second opinion and I love this new doc. I really hope you like your doctor and feel like you can talk w/ her/him and ask questions. If not, you might want to get a second opinion. But I'm hoping all is ok. I'm learning that if I think about it all the time I"ll drive myself crazy until March, so I'm just hoping for the best. I don't smoke, never have and there is no family histor of lung problems, but just about everyone in my family has cancer..so that is a bit scary. My sister quit smoking about two years ago...I'll talk w/ her tonight about what she did to quit and give you the scoop! Take care and treat yourself to something like a massage or a chocolate sunday!!

 
Old 01-08-2004, 07:34 AM   #6
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llovell67 HB User
Re: 3mm lung nodule - scared!

We can BOTH make it until our next CT scans! We just have to have faith that it will be ok. Do you think that the small nodule made it hard for you to breath? It's hard for me to imagine that something that small could hinder breathing, but that's why I'm not a doctor! In your research have you found out if you can have a PET scan on such small nodules as ours? I would be interested in knowing.

I also just started a new diet program and exercising. Hopefully that will help keep my smoking cravings down!

Let's stay in touch and keep each other on the right 'positive' track!

Lisa

 
Old 01-09-2004, 07:34 PM   #7
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NancyH HB User
Re: 3mm lung nodule - scared!

Quote:
Originally Posted by llovell67
I'm new to the boards and need some reassurance. I'm 37 years old and for my birthday, I 'treated' myself to a full-body scan. My doc called and said everything was normal except that I had a 3 mm non calcified nodule in one of my lungs. She said to come back for a CT scan in 3-6 months. I called her back and told her that I didn't want to wait that long to find out if it was cancerous or not. She said that it was so small that they couldn't do any other testing on it at this time. Is that true? I am a smoker (3-7 cigs per day) and am very concerned. She said that it could just be some old scarring or something, but that doesn't make me feel any better!

Is there a difference in calcified and non calcified? And does that determine the benign-ness of a nodule?

Any help would be appreciated! Thanks much!
Try not to worry ok? I have a 5mm nodule in the left lung, they discovered it back in 2000 and made me come in every 6 mos for 2 yrs and it never changed nor did it calcify either. i was anxious for over a year and it wasn't anything. Calcified means it has been there a long time and they don't bother further testing. Mine still isn't calcified but it hasn't grown either, in the last Ct it appeared more like a scar tissue. Anything to do with the lung brings more anxiety and really alot of weird nodules, cysts and stuff happen in the lung and it isn't unusual but we think the big C right away. Especially us smokers

 
Old 01-13-2004, 07:22 AM   #8
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llovell67 HB User
Re: 3mm lung nodule - scared!

Thank you, Nancy! I feel better! Since I have smoked on and off since high school (and that's been a long time), it has really put the C fear into me. Hence, it has been enough to make me quit - cold turkey. So far I'm doing well, but there are still times I'd like to have one.

I'm so glad all has turned out well for you. Thank you again for telling me your story. That's why these boards are so good - we don't have to sit alone thinking the worst - we can share information.

 
Old 01-13-2004, 01:59 PM   #9
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Blessed1 HB User
Re: 3mm lung nodule - scared!

Quote:
Originally Posted by llovell67
I'm new to the boards and need some reassurance. I'm 37 years old and for my birthday, I 'treated' myself to a full-body scan. My doc called and said everything was normal except that I had a 3 mm non calcified nodule in one of my lungs. She said to come back for a CT scan in 3-6 months. I called her back and told her that I didn't want to wait that long to find out if it was cancerous or not. She said that it was so small that they couldn't do any other testing on it at this time. Is that true? I am a smoker (3-7 cigs per day) and am very concerned. She said that it could just be some old scarring or something, but that doesn't make me feel any better!

Is there a difference in calcified and non calcified? And does that determine the benign-ness of a nodule?

Any help would be appreciated! Thanks much!
******
Looks like there are 3 of us going through the very same thing. I had an xray because I had some bumps on top of my head and the left side of my neck was puffed out. The doctor told me that she could feel a lympthnoid and one under my arm. Now I did have non hodgeskins lymphoma 20 years ago. I have been in remision ever since and have lived quite a normal life. The xray tech did see a mass in my rt lung and felt it should be looked into a little further. They sceduled me for a ct scan. They sceduled me for a PET Ct scan. This is a fairly expensive test but is very acurate in the results. What they do is put a radio active material into you (harmless). If there is anything that is alive like a tumor or infection it will light up. I too have a difficult time to breath at times. My doctor went ahead and sceduled a Ct guided Biopsy because he said some insurance companies would not allow the PET scan without a tissue sample. They took a needle and went into my lung to get a sample of this "Matter". The day we got back from the biopsy the test results were in from the bisopsy. The doctor had called and stated that the bisopsy was negative. Now here is the clincher. We went to my appointment for get the results from the PET scan and it did show that something was active. It was not know if it was truely cancer of the lung or just an infection. This is the type of infection that Lisa referred too is common in some areas. So now I have one negative test and one positive. The choices given by my doctor were a)Get another biopsy b)Wait and have another ct scan in 3 months and if it has grown any c)Surgery. After speaking with the surgeon he had told me that if he was going to do the surgery they would have to remove the complete lung. This would call for extensive healing time. Because of this I opted that we wait the 3 months. My next ct is March 8th. The other thing which made me want to wait and again Lisa had mentioned this is the fact that it was completely round. This is uncommon of cancer. It also was non calcified. Calcified means that it has been there awhile and non means that it is new.
Keep a positive mind as difficult as it may seem at times and remember it could be just infection. I never smoked but now I have this. 2nd hand smoke who knows. And with what is being put in our air today it could be just Yucky stuff.
Good luck and stay in touch.
Ron.

 
Old 01-15-2004, 08:08 PM   #10
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eilrash HB User
Talking Re: 3mm lung nodule - scared!

Hey, not that I am glad to hear that other people are going through this, but its nice to know that we have a support group to help us through it and to keep our fears at bay. I'm sorry to hear that your son is going throug so much and it must be very hard to be the parent and seeing your child go through this and you can't give him a pill or anything to "fix" it. I'm glad to know you got a new dr. I've actually come across the worst dr. in my life with my pulmonary problems.

As for llovell67, I have been having troubles breathing, but I'm not sure if it is related to my nodule or not. The whole reason we found my nodule was because i was very short of breath for a few weeks. This has been going on now for 2 months along w/ pain around my sternum and it kinda creeps into my ribs near my breasts. My doctor also thinks I have costochondritis..she put me on voixx for two weeks and that didn't help, but now she has me on prednisone for a week to help w/ the inflammation and pain. It hasn't started working just yet, but I'm hopefull. She doesn't think this is related to my nodule, but I still kinda worry. I'm a nursing student myself, so I have a lot of information at the tip of my finger and so my mind has a tendency to wonder where other people outside of the healthcare field don't go.

Has anyone else had any related pain like I have been having?

And for the smokers trying to quit...I'm here for you if you need to talk. I also recommend that you visit the forum on this site specifically for smokers who want to quit. It might be helpful to talk w/ others who are experiencing the same thing. Just keep up the good work and positive energy!! I have total faith in your ability to quit. I'm actually attending a workshop tomorrow for those who want to quit smoking..I'll take notes and give you any relevant information that I hear.

Keep me posted, I'd like to know how everyone is doing :~)

 
Old 02-17-2004, 09:35 AM   #11
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 18
genners HB User
Re: 3mm lung nodule - scared!

Hiya!

I also just got over having bronchitis and they dectected a 7mm lung nodule. I also have pleurisy. My doctor wanted me to wait three months but I have a high incidence of lung cancer among non-smokers in my family, so I asked him to rush it. My CAT scan is actually tonight and I'm nervous - but I'm hoping it is just a scar from having the bronchitis or something. I also heard about the "Valley Fever" for people who live near the Ohio and Mississsippi Rivers. The doctors can do a test to see if the fungus is in your system. However, usually people do not get this "fever" unless they have just moved to the new area. Most people in the area have built up an immunity to the fungus. It is only when your immune system is suppressed, from illness, that you may become more succeptible, if you have lived in the area for quite some time.

Please keep me posted and I will let you know what the CAT scan results say. Best of luck to all!

Genners
Quote:
Originally Posted by eilrash
Hey! Try to relax a litte...I have just been through this in NOvember right after Thanksgiving. My nodule is 8mm and is also non calcified. I also demanded a boipsy until i did further research and decided to do the wait and see approach for three months and get another ct in early March. The reason for this is that your nodule could be a million different things..its only natural to think that it might be cancer..i did the same thing. Also there are many risks associated with doing biopsys on the lungs...so until you get your follow up ct or xray and if the nodule has changed at all is the only time i'd really recommend you talk to your dr. about getting a biopsy. Do you live in the south or near the mississippi river? The reason I ask is that there is a specific fungus that is very common along this area that exposes you to getting these nodules..and they are harmless. Some of them become calcified after a while and some (few) stay non calcified. You might have been exposed recently to this type of fungus and not even known it. It can also be related to being exposed to TP, pneumonia, other types of lung infections, asbestos and a million other things. But try not to worry over the next few months while you are waiting your results from your follow up ct or xray. Keep me informed. I hope this helped....Keep in touch!!!

Sharlie

 
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