2 months ago I had double pneumonia. I have had problems breathing since. Tried different inhalors, peak flow between 220-250, should be 460-480. Finally got ct scan of chest, abdominal and pelvis with dye. Results:
Chest----Some focal patchy minimum airspace opacities in the upper lobes bilaterally, nonspecific, but may represent post inflammatory changes. In addition, there is aa more discrete 5mm nodule identified along minor fissure projecting in the base of the right upper lobe.
Abdomen and pelvis----- Mild enlargement of the left adrenal gland, most likely an adenoma. The uterus appears mildly enlarged. There are low dense multiple cystic leasions in the adnexal area suggesting ovarian cysts.
I am a 42 year old smoker since the age of 18. I am absolutlely terrified of cancer and several different ones run in my family. I just would like some advise from anyone who has experienced this and how I should proceed with the doctors. Thank You
Sorry to hear your going through all this, and I do understand your fears. I'm 43, and had a CT scan showing nodules in both lungs, the one in the right lung was 6mm and the left was 4mm. I too had mild enlargement in my left adrenal, as well as Ovarian cysts. But I also had "punctate" calcification on my thryroid. When I did all the research on all the findings I too was petrified! Because collectivly it was frighting.
But, I was going to a Mayo clinic in Florida when these were found. They recomended a repeat CT in 3 months. And sent me to a endochronologist for the adrenals and thyroid. The ultra sound on the thyroid showed NO nodule, just calcification, so they were'nt too concerned with this, But recomended a repeat ultrasound in a year. The adrenals was explained to me as the fact it was "mild" that everyone's adrenals are different and this may be "normal" for me.
For the ovarian cysts I had an internal ultrasound and they were found to be "functional cysts", something that comes and goes with ovulation. But they do repeat ultra sounds in 6 months to be sure.
The 3 month repeat scan showed no changes, so they recomended, another repeat in 3 months.
So in the next CT, much to my suprise the nodule in the right lung, had tripled in size!THe left lung had no changes and the adrenals were now normal. They ordered a PET scan and that showed "hypermedobolic uptake" which with a 97% chance indicate Cancer! Scared to death wasnt the word for it.
I was told that it was cancer, and they did a staging procedure which showed NO spread.
I was scheduled for surgery to remove my right upper lobe of my lung.
By the GRACE of GOD..IT WASNT CANCER!! It's was a VERY hard way to find out BUT...it was the ONLY way they could be 100% sure. And to have peace of mind for me and my family as well.
It ends up its a RARE type of infection called mycobacterial avium complex (MAC for short). Its a common organism in the enviroment, being in the water and soil. People who do get it have some sort of underlying lung disease or immune system defect. With me, I have significant emphysema (with NO SYMPTOMS!) and have a muscle disease which is auto immune in nature. So my immune system isnt the best.
My point is Sissy, sometimes not everything is what it seems. And for me also being a smoker will ALWAYS have a greater risk of lung cancer. The whole picture didnt look good, and YES even fooled the doctors! Mine didnt present normaly, it looked like cancer, and the fact I wasnt sick, led them to believe it was cancer. THis was ONE time when I was HAPPY the Doctors were WRONG! Lung cancer is a silent killer, and many who have it, DONT have symptoms, by the time symptoms show up, it usualy has spread. So being that your nodules are small, its early in what ever process it may be.
I also have a new nodule in my right lung, and still have the one in my left, which Im going for a re-scan in a couple weeks to see if they got all the infection, or wether I will need treatment. This infection is very hard to get rid of and the treatment has MANY side effects, BUT its NOT cancer, and with that is a blessing.
What does your doctor recomend as far as a follow-up, or further testing?
Are you coughing up anything, that they could test your sputum for infection?
I can understand you concern for sure, but TRY(easier said than done I know) not to worry, BUT be sure they DO follow-up with other scans or sputum tests to be sure.
I wish you the best, and will say a prayer for you,
Take care and GOd bless,
I see you're from AZ. Have they checked you for Valley Fever? Several years ago our family went thru a similar scare. My sister, who was a former smoker was having similar symptoms. They found a spot on her lung. Did a pet scan -- they were pretty sure she had lung cancer. Went in for a CT scan prior to having a needle biopsy done and found that the spot, which apparently turned out to be a fluid filled nodule had "popped". Later found out she had Valley Fever -- had had it for months. She lives in S AZ
I saw the doctor last Friday. The are going to do a repeat ct scan in 2 1/2 months. Meanwhile they did draw blood to look for valley fever, but I don't know much about it.So now I guess I wait and see. Thanks for your replies.
Yes, for now I am on Atrovent and Proair inhalors. I also use a nebulizer at night. I was supposed to also be using Flovent, but I guess that has to wait until the blood work comes back. It has a steroid and the doctor said it's like fuel for the fire if I do come back positive for Valley Fever.