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Lung Nodules (new to me)

Kenny H.'s picture
Kenny H.
Posts: 503
Joined: Aug 2010

Hello newbie here. I mainly frequent the colorectal forum as was DX with rectal cancer in 5/10. Had to have rectum removed now with perm colostomy & have been doing fine. Had 6 out of 37 nodes involved which were also removed. Becuase of that had 12 rounds of Folfox/5fu which was completed in April.

My question is after my 3-month post chemo CT scan 2 small nodules (2mm) were spotted on lung. Onc advised to worry at that time and will watch on next scan,
Anyway 3 months later (last week) I got another CT scan and report shows have 6 nodules now 3-4 mm in size.
Is this how most lung cancers start? My Onc said they were to small to do a biopsy from but has ordered a PET scan for next month, then a broncoscopy (sp). Due to prev cancer history this has me worried. Also said most colon cancers spread to Liver 1st not lungs.

I dont know what to think.

cabbott
Posts: 1046
Joined: Aug 2006

Welcome! The folks here are great even if the problems that bring us together are not. It sounds like your doctor is keeping a close eye on you. He or she is doing all the right stuff from what I can tell. Mind you, I'm no doctor. But my sister who really is a family practice doc told me that if a scan looks suspicious, the standard is to wait 3 months and do a second scan. Many things cause nodules. Until there is a biopsy, the doctor will not know if it is cancer and certainly won't know what kind it is even if it is cancer. They have to see it under a microscope and sometimes even run genetic tests to determine what kind it is.

Some folks with primary lung cancer have one or two nodules at most that grow larger. I have a kind of primary lung cancer that makes multiple nodules in either lung . Some folks with multiple nodules actually are experiencing mets of a cancer that started elsewhere. I have a previous history of breast cancer so they thought my nodules were stage 4 breast cancer. Only the genetic testing proved it was stage 1 lung cancer. That's why the biopsy is so important.

If the nodules are too tiny to find though, trying to biopsy too early might result in no biopsy and the production of scar tissue that makes future biopsies and scans even harder. I know it is hard to wait, but you may have to if the surgeon doesn't think he can get a good sample. Have you talked with a good thoracic surgeon to see what he or she says?

One thing you can do while you wait is get in as good of shape as you can. Eat right, exercise, anything that will build your body, your lungs, and your immune system. You know more than some how much cancer treatment takes out of you. If it turns out all you have is an infection needing an antibiotic, great. You will be in great shape for whatever else you like doing. If you have a more serious medical problem, you will be in shape for that. Good luck!

Kenny H.'s picture
Kenny H.
Posts: 503
Joined: Aug 2010

Thanks Cabott:
No I have not spoke a with a thoracic surgeon yet. Guess I'll wait and see what PET scan results are first. (next month.)
Thanks for your input.

z's picture
z
Posts: 1261
Joined: May 2009

Hi Kenny my initial dx was anal cancer Stage IINOMO and I completed tx on 6-30-09, well like you being scanned for follow ups a 7mm nodule was found in my lower right lobe. Well because this is to small for a needle biopsy, the decision was to wait 3 months and rescan, also the suv uptake was only 2.6. Well 3 months later it grew to 11mms. Now it had to come out. The vats procedure was performed on 9-23-10 and the biopsy was done right in the OR, and yes it was a primary lung cancer and the lobe was removed. The reason it was not a met, is because it didn't have hpv in the nodule as my anal cancer did. So far so good.

Its standard procedure to re scan, before proceding further, when they are so small. When my oncologists first discussed the nodule with me he said maybe it will just disappear, and that can happen if its an irritation, infection etc. Well, I was also a 35 year smoker and quit at my 1st cancer dx. I had a squamous cell lung nodule which is attributed to smoking. I hope yours will just disappear, we are fortunate to find these so early, and get rid of them.

Lori

plars0402
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2012

I wish to reply to Lori. I am new to the message boards and I would like to ask some
questions about your lung nodule and also how you are doing at this time. Pam

z's picture
z
Posts: 1261
Joined: May 2009

Hello Pam, I have recovered well from the vats procedure on 9-23-10. Every 6 months I have gotten a scan. Well on the 3rd scan on 1-23-12 a 5mm lung nodule was found on my left lower lobe. I had just gotten over a cold and probably should have post poned the ct scan, as this could be attibuted to the cold I had. CT scans will pick up everything. I have existing lung nodules in my upper left lung that have been there since the beginning when I was having pre treatment scanning for anal cancer. I completed tx for the anal cancer on 6-30-09 and have been fine ever since. So I will be rescanned at the end of April and hopefully the lung nodule will be gone or not have grown. Pam what questions would you like to ask? Feel free to ask anything. Lori

plars0402
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2012

Lori,

My email address is plars0402@aol.com- in case you wish to respond via email:)

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