What does this mean?

A family member recently had a hospital stay after surgery for breaking a bone. During investigations chest X-rays/CT scans were done and nodules on the lungs were found measuring 1cm and 2cm The discharge note states the X-ray and Ct findings noted two well defined nodules in lung needs further evaluation as differential is wide, metastasis is primary differential. My family member remembers having a discussion with a doctor but was on heavy pain killers and as the incident was whilst on holiday, she had no one with her. Unfortunately, she doesn’t really remember what was discussed.  She has an urgent referral but we are not sure what we should be asking the consultant. Does anyone have any experience of lung nodules? And does this mean there is cancer elsewhere? Thank you in advance.

  • Hello, and thanks for your post,

    I am sorry to hear that your relative is going through investigations. It is difficult to be able to say very much without being involved in your relative's care.

    I can't say what the significance of the lung nodules is but lung nodules are common and do not always mean that cancer is present there but it sounds like they are suspicious that it needs to be looked into.

    There is a guide on lung nodules and what they mean which you can see here

    Your relative's case will be discussed at a large meeting where all the doctors involved in her care will discuss the findings. At this meeting, they may decide that she needs further scans or a biopsy but really I can't be sure. 

    It is helpful if another member of the family can go with her so you can both hear what the doctor has to say. You can encourage your relative to ask what if any investigations she may need and the timing of any further tests.

    I can understand that it can be unsettling waiting to find out more.

    You are both more than welcome to ring the helpline nurses and go through any of this with us. Our helpline number is Freephone 0808 800 4040 and we are here Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm.

    All the best,


  • Thank you so much for your reply.  We will make sure she has someone with her in the fast track appointment. It was the word metatasis that scared us all. I really appreciate your response.