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Old 03-11-2008, 09:58 AM   #1
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Unhappy HELP! Boyfriend has 10cm "mass" "tumor" in right lung

Hi everyone,
I'm freaking out because my bf had an x-ray for a pulled muscle around his left rib area and they found a 10cm (!!!) growth in his right lung. The doc sent him for a CT Scan and we're picking up the results today. I'm not sure if I should make an appointment with a pulmonologist and skip trying to book one with gen. pract.
A little history: apparently he had the nodule discovered 19yrs ago when he was a teen, which at the time was only the size of a nickel. I don't know what tests they ran, but supposedly it was nothing to worry about and the doc told them "this is normal, some people have growths and nodules and they can go through life with no issues". So they didn't do anything else about it!!
I wish I would've known, all this time, I could've been pushing him to check it every few years.
I wanted to know how likely is it that this giant thing would be benign? The only hope I have is that he's healthy, never has had any pains associated with that side, never gets sick (flu, colds are practically non-existant with him)...I'm so scared.
Any info, experiences would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!!

Last edited by uglynow; 03-11-2008 at 10:01 AM.

 
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Old 03-11-2008, 10:24 AM   #2
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Re: HELP! Boyfriend has 10cm "mass" "tumor" in right lung

uglynow,

How long has this "mass" been there, you said he was 19 when it was a "nodule", how old is he now?
Let me tell you my story, and try to give you peace of mind somewhat. Im 43 and I had a nodule detected in a May of 2007 in my right lung, they did another CT scan in August of 2007 and it was stable, no growth, it was 6mm, about the size of the tip of my pinky. So they re-scanned in October of 2007 and it had tripled in size, and became a "spiculated mass". WHich is VERY concerning, so they ordered a PET scan, which showed "hypermedobolic uptake" which can indicate cancer. So I was scheduled for a "staging procedure" where they biopsied a bunch of lymph nodes in my chest. The nodes were all begnine, and I was told the mass was cancer(although they did NOT biopsy the mass, it was in a place they couldnt). SO I was scheduled for surgery to remove the upper lobe of my right lung. I went for surgery, everything pointed towards cancer, the shape, the size now being 3cm, and where it was being the upper lobe.
They did a "wedge resection" of my upper lobe, and by the Grace of GOd it was BEGNINE! It turned out to be a rare type of infection called MAC or MAI(mycobacterium avium intracellular infection) that presented "like" cancer. The Doctors were very surprised! But happy of course they were wrong!
My point of telling you this is that "Not everything is what it seems", "Just because you hear hoof beats, dosent always mean its a horse", "It just may be a ZEBRA"!
"TRY"(I KNOW its hard) not to think the worst, until you have ALL the facts! I'm a single Mom, and had told my children and family it was cancer(because thats what I was told), I put my family through hell! My children understood what cancer ment. No one will know for sure what it is, until they get in there and get either a biopsy, or remove it.



Please let us know how he makes out. I will certiantly say a prayer for your B/F as well as you to get you through all this.

Take care, and GOd bless,
Annette

Last edited by Momof2sons; 03-11-2008 at 10:24 AM.

 
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Old 03-11-2008, 10:32 AM   #3
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Re: HELP! Boyfriend has 10cm "mass" "tumor" in right lung

Thank you for your encouraging words. The internet is a great tool but sometimes you just find more and more things to worry you.
The nodule was found when he was about 14/15, it's been 19 years since. He's now 34.
Either way, it's very scary because best case scenario is that it's benign but we still have to remove it. I can't imagine if its grown this much in 19yrs what would happen if he kept it in there. Regardless it has to go and that alone is a scary thought, being that it's such a large growth I assume the surgery would be quite extensive... But as long as he makes it okay. Thanks for your support!

 
Old 03-11-2008, 10:59 AM   #4
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Re: HELP! Boyfriend has 10cm "mass" "tumor" in right lung

uglynow,

Your welcome. Yes I KNOW all to well what we can find on the internet. I researched lung cancer extensivley myself when mine was found.
The surgery is pretty significant yes that I can say. I had a "open thoracotomy" which they went in through the back to get to it. About 10" incision following the line of my shoulder blade. I did have surgery at a Major Medical facility, and was in the hospital for 5 days. Recovery is tough, I wont lie to you. And I wasnt faithful at doing my breathing exercises after I got home, and was suffering partcial lung collaps every night while sleeping(I have sleep apnea and that was thought to have caused the collaps at night) . I went to my GP and told me that I HAVE to do those exercises. So I did, and when that lung would come back up, it felt like someone punching me from the inside out. BUT, once that happened, I was able to take a full breath. SO lesson was learned, and with in two weeks I no longer had to do the breathing exercises.Given the fact your B/F is "healthy" otherwise is a good thing and will help in that respect.
I do feel for him and you as well, as to what your going through right now, its understandable. I just wanted to give you some hope , and try to get you to see a somewhat "good" out come that can happen.
I didnt really have any symptoms my self. Toward the end when it was growing rapidly, I was having like "twinges of pain" in my chest. Nothing major or worrisome to me. I didnt have any cough, or shortness of breath.
And even now, since surgery, I dont have any side effects from the surgery. My pulmonary function is still within normal limits.
Where is his mass, do you know? With mine they took an 8cm in length off my upper right lung.
Chances are, had his not been found at this point, he could have possibly suffered from "spontainous pnemothorax"(collaps lung) given the size of it. Im glad they found it before that happened.

Take care, and GOd bless,
Annette

Please let us know how he makes out.

 
Old 03-11-2008, 12:05 PM   #5
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Re: HELP! Boyfriend has 10cm "mass" "tumor" in right lung

Thanks again!
Yes, either way as much of a frightening experience this is, I AM glad that he did find it so we can move on towards working on getting rid of it.
I will post once we know more.
Thanks for keeping us in your prayers, the funny thing is that I'm the one freaking out, he's totally non-chalant about it. He says "I've had this for twenty years and now we're gonna freak out?!, Relax." But it's hard to relax. I will try and keep a positive outlook, God knows the power of positive thinking.
Thanks again.

 
Old 03-11-2008, 11:55 PM   #6
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UPDATE to HELP! Boyfriend has 10cm "mass" "tumor" in right lung

Hi Again
we got the CT report, if anyone knows anything about what it says please feel free to share it with me:
"a very large soft tissue mass, which appears to be a middle mediastinal mass that measures 8.5x7.0cm. It is not clearly cystic. The Hounsfield reading is 42. It is flattening the vena cava in a localized region behind the head of the clavicle. There is no narrowing of the airway or pleural fluid present.
There are no lung nodules. The drenals appear normal.
CONCLUSION: The Middle Mediastinal Soft Tissue Mass is Confirmed."

He's going to see the doc tomorrow but if anyone understands this stuff, I'd greatly appreciate any info. I tried looking stuff up online but it just confuses me more.

Thanks!!

 
Old 03-12-2008, 03:18 AM   #7
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Re: HELP! Boyfriend has 10cm "mass" "tumor" in right lung

Hi there. The CT reading can't really say what the mass is in terms of a diagnosis, only a biopsy can.

I'll try and interpret the results a best I can: 'middle mediastinal' means the middle lobe of the lung, so that's the position of the mass. 'It's not clearly cystic' means that it doesn't look like a cyst, but this isn't certain. (sure you guessed that already!)

The 'vena cava' is a large vein that carries blood into the heart...whatever this mass is, it's not good to have it flattened, so I am sure they will have to do something about that.

The 'Hounsfield Reading' - this is named after the guy who invented the CT scan...it measures the density of the mass...water has 0 density and I think bone has 100.

A soft tissue mass could be tons of things. I assume the next step will be a biopsy to determine what it is exactly. Good luck!

 
Old 03-12-2008, 09:15 AM   #8
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Re: HELP! Boyfriend has 10cm "mass" "tumor" in right lung

Thanks Christine!
I'm just so nervous and scared. I'm really trying to not make such a big deal but it's in the back of my head nagging at me constantly.
We'll just have to wait and see what the doctor says and then get 3 opinions (maybe overkill but it's probably important)
Thanks again!

 
Old 03-12-2008, 10:35 AM   #9
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Momof2sons HB User
Re: HELP! Boyfriend has 10cm "mass" "tumor" in right lung

uglynow,

Please let us know how he makes out today with the Doctor.

Take care, and GOd bless,
Annette

 
Old 03-14-2008, 08:01 PM   #10
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WWWM HB User
Re: HELP! Boyfriend has 10cm "mass" "tumor" in right lung

Sounds like it could be a lipoma, which is a benign fatty tumor. Lipomas can grow very large over long periods of time.

 
Old 03-16-2008, 09:39 AM   #11
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Re: HELP! Boyfriend has 10cm "mass" "tumor" in right lung

Thanks! I hope the universe hears you and that's what it ends up being.
Regardless of what it is, the surgery I imagine is unavoidable, won't be a cakewalk but it certainly will ease things to know it's not something more life-threatening.

Thank you for your vote of confidence and your response! :-)

 
Old 03-16-2008, 01:16 PM   #12
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Re: HELP! Boyfriend has 10cm "mass" "tumor" in right lung

uglynow,

Has your b/f been scheduled for surgery?

Annette

 
Old 03-17-2008, 05:10 PM   #13
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Re: HELP! Boyfriend has 10cm "mass" "tumor" in right lung

Not yet, we're still waiting to see a pulmonary dr. to get an opinion/diagnosis I'm just going ahead of things..as always.

 
Old 05-12-2008, 02:28 PM   #14
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UPDATE to HELP! Boyfriend has 10cm "mass" "tumor" in right lung

Hi everyone,
I thought I should come in and give you a quick update on my freakout.
We've gone through dozens of tests, including a needle biopsy and luckily everything comes out "inconclusive" which I dont' know that it's exactly a good thing other than it doesn't look to be a metastasing type of growth.
The bad news: not only is it squishing the vena cavae and pushing on his main airway, but it's also invading the vertebrae. This means he'll have to endure a full day of surgery, first by the thoracic surgeon and then by a neurosurgeon for the vertebrae part.
Apparently the only way to do this is by performing what I've learned (on the internet) to be a sternotomy. It sounds terrible: wires which need to remain in there forever, minimum 6 weeks of at home recovery, etc etc.
Not to mention they may have to put him on the heart/lung machine which freaks me out evern more.
I'm so afraid of him not making it or the complications but I keep reassuring myself by knowing that so many people go through way worse stuff and live healthy lives afterwards, and even this type of surgery seems to be pretty common...but for someone who's never had to deal with such a serious thing, it's very daunting.
Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts. Keep your fingers crossed for us so everything will turn out okay and that it doesn't turn out to be something more serious.
Thanks!

Last edited by uglynow; 05-12-2008 at 02:30 PM.

 
Old 05-15-2008, 10:53 AM   #15
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Re: HELP! Boyfriend has 10cm "mass" "tumor" in right lung

hi again,
has anyone here undergone a sternotomy with thoracotomy? I'm scared and would like to hear your recovery experience and all of that.
They mentioned he'll be placed on the heart/lung bypass machine which has me really freaked out.
Any info, suggestions, encouragement, etc. will be greatly appreciated Thank you!

UPDATE: They've now sprung up another thing, first they called last night to say the surgery is scheduled for Tuesday! Now they mentioned not only the two surgeries above, but also a Laminectomy!! Supposedly the tumor is also taking over his vertebrae, but I really don't understand, if he IS NOT having any sort of nerve issue, why would they go in and cut out a piece of the vertebrae?? It makes no sense. I'm hoping to talk with the neurosurgeon tomorrow and see what his explanation is. Anyone with any of these especially a combination, I'd like to hear from you please please.
Thank you!!

Last edited by uglynow; 05-15-2008 at 06:24 PM.

 
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