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white spots on chest xray

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Old 02-22-2005, 12:33 PM   #1
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morningdew HB User
white spots on chest xray

hello, im not sure if this is the place to post, but any help would be appreciated. my mother n law has been sick for the past six weeks. she finally went in two weeks ago and the doctor diagnosed her with bronchitis and walking pneumonia. he gave her a weeks worth of antibiotics, wich havent helped, she feels just as bad. she finally went to the doctor again yesterday and had bloodwork and a chest xray done...she wont get the official results back for another few days or so, but she said that she saw a few big white spots on them. i know that cancer will show up like that, white spots, and i think that is what she is afraid of. but can anything else show up like white spots on a chest xray, like pneumonia? would that show up like that? im sorry for rambling, but i know shes really worried, and i was just wondering and hoping that pneumonia would show up as white spots, or even somthing not as serious as cancer. shes a 51 year ol smoker. please, any help would be appreciated. thank you

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Old 02-22-2005, 11:25 PM   #2
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wrin HB User
Re: white spots on chest xray

Lots of things can show up on a chest X ray as big white spots, including breast tissue, blood vessels, lymph nodes, her heart, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

To give you an idea how vague chest x-rays are, imagine you had a stained glass window with intricate details, you held it up to some photo film so it would be out of focus, and then flashed a diffracting light through it, so as to make a blurry image on the photo film.

Not knowing which way the window was twisted, how blurry it was to start with, whether it was held close to or far away from the film, etcetera, it's pretty hard to pick out the colour pattern in the blurry image that results.

Now make it in black and white, and ask somebody to pick out all the panes that are stained pink.

That's about how vague chest x-ray determination can be, and that's to a trained X-ray tech, or a radiologist.

This isn't to say that your mother's not an intelligent lady, but even radiologists disagree as to what the little white spots on x-rays mean. If they're worried, they'll order further tests. It is my opinion that you should not worry until your doctor does.

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