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21,467 Views 20 Replies Last post: Jul 17, 2013 2:26 PM by Cancer_Nurse_Mary RSS 1 2 Previous Next
andrea15 118 posts since
Nov 15, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Mar 1, 2013 8:28 AM

lung nodules

Im looking for advice/reassurance.

 

A recent ct scan shows 4 and 5 mm modules, one in lower lobe of each lung. I have a rescan in 4 months. What are the chances of these being lung cancer or metastases from elsewhere.

 

Im very worried but I guess if its lung cancer it should be caught early.

 

Any advice or comments much appreciated.

Cancer_Nurse_Helen 92 posts since
Mar 9, 2011
Currently Being Moderated
1. Mar 6, 2013 9:09 AM in response to: andrea15
Re: lung nodules

Hello Andrea15,

Thank you for posting.  I’m afraid I just can’t say what the chances are of these nodules being cancer.  I don’t know how much has been explained to you by the lung specialist. 

Based on what they know about your circumstances, a doctor may be able to estimate what your risk is of these being cancerous.  But even the doctor may not be able to know for sure.

I can give you some general information about lung nodules and I hope this is helpful.  CT scans of the chest commonly detect lung nodules that are not always seen on a chest X-ray.  In some people, nodules are found incidentally when they have a scan for something else and they do not usually cause symptoms. 

Most nodules are not cancer (benign) and could be due to other conditions, for example past infection with TB (tuberculosis).  So if the nodule is small, doctors often choose to keep an eye on it by repeating the CT scan.  The doctor considers a number of factors when deciding whether someone should be monitored. These include the size and appearance of the nodule, the age of the person and whether they are smokers, or have ever been smokers.  These factors will also determine the frequency of the scans and how long they should carry on for.  Benign nodules do not grow, or grow very slowly.  So if any the nodules become bigger, the lung specialist may arrange for other tests such as another type of scan, a biopsy, or sometimes surgery.

I appreciate that this can be a worrying process for people to go through, particularly when the time is approaching to scan again   The benefit is that cancer may never be found and (although people have regular CT scans) they will have been saved from further tests that would not have been necessary.

 

If a person is diagnosed with cancer, there is a possibility that this may be cancer that has spread from elsewhere in the body (I don’t know how often this happens).  Or, as you say, it could be lung cancer.

I’m sorry I can’t be more definite, but hope this is useful.

 

Take care,

Helen    

Cancer_Nurse_Jean 159 posts since
Feb 14, 2011
Currently Being Moderated
3. Mar 8, 2013 3:08 PM in response to: andrea15
Re: lung nodules

Dear Andrea,

Thank you for getting back to us.

I can appreciate that you are trying to work out what might be the matter as this must be a concerning time for you. But as you know there are a number of possible scenarios that can explain the nodules that were seen on the CT scan. Unfortunately I do not think my answers to your questions will put your mind at rest. This is because occasionally doctors can discover lung secondaries as an incidental finding when they are doing tests for other things. But as you suggested it is it is not a particularly common situation. Also almost any type of cancer could potentially spread to the lungs and again I fear that knowing this is possibly going to be even more unsettling for you.

Although it is difficult, the important thing to focus on is the fact that your doctor is not rushing in to do anything right now. If they were seriously concerned about cancer they would not be asking you to have a repeat scan in a few months time.

Kind regards,

Jean

sana 2 posts since
Mar 8, 2013
Currently Being Moderated
4. Mar 8, 2013 6:53 PM in response to: Cancer_Nurse_Helen
Re: lung nodules

hi MY MOM HAS BREAST CANCER SHE DID REMOVE HER THT ONE BREAST FIVE YEARS AGO AND SHE HAD ONE CANCER IN HER LYMPH NODES FROM 18 ONE WERE POSITIVE SO NOW WHT U SUGGEST NOW A DAY MOM NOT FEELING FINE WHT TO DO SHE HAD LOBULAR CARCINOMA

Cancer_Nurse_Vanda 7 posts since
Aug 23, 2012
Currently Being Moderated
6. Mar 12, 2013 2:53 PM in response to: andrea15
Re: lung nodules

Hello,

 

Unfortunately, I don't know and therefore just cannot say anything concerning your question about nodules on this occasion. Usually, specific investigations and tests are needed to gain more clinical information for the doctors to review.

 

I hope that you are able to find out more soon.

 

Best wishes,

 

Vanda

Moderator_Jenn 228 posts since
Jun 19, 2013
Currently Being Moderated
8. Jun 29, 2013 9:42 AM in response to: andrea15
Re: lung nodules

Hello Andrea15,

 

I wonder if you might find it helpful to give our nurse specialists a ring to chat through some of the questions you have.

 

They are available Monday - Friday 0808 800 4040 9am - 5pm

 

best wishes,

 

Jenn

Cancer Chat moderator

Moderator_Jenn 228 posts since
Jun 19, 2013
Currently Being Moderated
10. Jun 29, 2013 6:52 PM in response to: andrea15
Re: lung nodules

It sounds like you may have a few questions/points that you would like your Consultant to clarify for you.

 

Sometimes it can be helpful to write down any questions you have prior to your appointment so that you don't forget what it is you want to ask when you get into the Dr's office.

 

I really hope that the appointment with the Dr on wednesday goes well and that they are able to give you some firmer answers to your questions.

 

Best wishes,

 

Jenn

Cancer Chat moderator

Cancer_Nurse_Jean 159 posts since
Feb 14, 2011
Currently Being Moderated
11. Jul 2, 2013 12:22 PM in response to: andrea15
Re: lung nodules

Hi, Andrea 15,

Thank you for your question. I was very pleased to learn that the recent scan has shown no growth in your lung nodules. This is certainly encouraging.

As you have had these nodules for some months now, if they were cancerous (malignant), I would have expected there to be some changes both in the size of the nodules and your general health. The fact that the nodules have not changed and I get the impression that your health is stable, makes it very unlikely that they are associated with any type of cancer.

I noticed on your thread that you said you had spoken to the nurse team and we had not really been able to reassure you. I think that this sort of thing can be very hard for anyone to cope with and under the circumstances it is difficult to have complete peace of mind. But I do hope that the lung specialist is able to provide you with some information that helps. Also as I said previously, it does seem that cancer is unlikely.

 

Kind regards,

Jean

Cancer_Nurse_Jean 159 posts since
Feb 14, 2011
Currently Being Moderated
13. Jul 4, 2013 5:07 PM in response to: andrea15
Re: lung nodules

Hello Andrea15,

I am sorry to learn that you need to have further tests. You certainly have been through a lot.

In the main, studies have suggested that CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) is an effective way of picking up polyps (non cancerous growths) and bowel cancer.  It is fair to say that no test is 100% reliable, but it is not all that likely that a cancer would be missed.

It seems that you are a little concerned because you did not take medicines to clear your bowel  prior to undergoing the procedure.  Clearing the bowel is important because sometimes with a full bowel the contents may make it more difficult to see things clearly. But bowel preparation can be a little arduous for some people and sometimes people do not take it properly. Because of this in some units they do not use full bowel preparation,

I must admit that because I do not work in diagnostic radiology I only have a limited knowledge of what CT scanners are capable of doing. But there are some techniques that can be used to assess the bowel even when full. Perhaps this is why you did not need to have bowel  preparation. The team at the hospital may be able to confirm this for you.

Occasionally people with advanced cancer can have no symptoms and feel relatively well. But because you have had the lung nodules for several months now, if it was due to cancer usually you would  be less well by now. Therefore I think that there is a good chance that the colonoscopy will be clear.

I hope that you do not have to wait too long to have the colonoscopy.

Kind regards,

Jean

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