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have lung nodules but are shrinking on own

pem
Posts: 61
Joined: Mar 2013

Hello all !  ..Did anyone here get diagnosed with lung nodules that grew a bit from one scan to the next but then shrunk a bit on the third scan and still get treated as it was cancer?  I also have  asthma and on a high dose of advair and take one singular daily.  for years my breathing tests have sucked and have only inproved a bit since put on singular combined with the advair.  these nodules were first noticed on a cat scan early june 2013 and just had my last scan jan 10 2014.  the doctors sill just want to wait and see cause the nodules have gotten smaller since aug and they tend to look "fluffy" as the dr put it.  i also have enlarged lymth nodes behind my lungs they said but apparently not big enough to be worried about.  a meeting between 4 other doctors was also done cause my dr (radiation oncologist) wasnt convinced it looked like your typical lung cancer.  they all agreed and decided to just wait for my next scan.  Im very worried cause i just read that some lung nodules that are cancerous can shrink if patient is on steriods and still have cancer.  I| should also mention that i finished treatment for anal cancer stage 3b  back in march and am doing fairly well with that. I do read a lot of other peoples entries on the anal cancer site and find it very helpful.  that site helped me get through my treatment and still helps me feel at ease with life knowing they are all there whenever i need information.  Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated.  I thank you all from the bottom of my heart and may god bless you all... pem   

dennycee
Posts: 685
Joined: Mar 2011

This is the first I have ever heard that cancer in a node will shrink due to the steroids.  Could you share a link to that?

Conventional wisdom/medicine has demonstrated that a nodule that shrinks with time is NOT cancerous.  95% of lung nodules are caused by colds, allergies, exposure to chemical fumes or other environmental influences.  The enlarged lymphnodes can be caused by infections and other influences as well.  Unless the nodule achieves a size of one cm or more they are too small to biopsy and could potentially give a false negative.  

It sounds like your dr presented your case to the tumor board and that was an excellent move on his part. It's so easy to expect that any new issue is going to be cancerous.  I really understand your feelings, please try to not let them dominate your every thought.  (I know, easier said than done.  Right?). 

You've made a decision to educate yourself about all possible issues and you are to be congratulated for that.  

pem
Posts: 61
Joined: Mar 2013

your response has made me smile with joy!!  I did forget to mention that i also have numerous allergies, most enviromental.  therefore maybe what you said regarding the allergies can be the cause of the nodules on my lungs. i do hope so.  but i guess having this due to other issues on my lungs isnt healthy neither.  my respatory dr just keeps giving me breathing tests and educates me on how to manage my asthma again.  i think my lung capacity is 65 or 70 percent only and has been that way for quite some time.  as for the comment i made regarding nodules shrinking if a person is taking steroids was just a site i saw when i typed in my question.  im not sure if it was a dr or just an opinion from someon. i thank you from the bottom of my heart dennycee and wish and pray for your good health.  and thanks for the compliment :)   pem

dennycee
Posts: 685
Joined: Mar 2011

Thanks for your kind thoughts and words. Reading that you have all these allergies certainly strengthens the probability that you fall into that 95% and I hope that comes true!  Please stay in touch and let us know what happens with your follow up.  

dennycee
Posts: 685
Joined: Mar 2011

Steroids do help reduce swelling due to inflammation.  Sorry.  

z's picture
z
Posts: 1267
Joined: May 2009

Hello, I too am an anal cancer survivor Stage II NOMO.  I completed tx on 6-30-09.  Then upon follow up scanning a lung nodule was found in my lower right lung at 7mm.  Because it was so small the protocal is to rescan in 3 months to see if it grew, well it grew to 1.7, so it had to come out.  I had it removed via vats on 9-23-10.  Well upon another follow up scan a 5 mm lung nodule was found in the lower left lung, and 3 months upon rescan it was gone.  I agree will denny if it is cancer it would grow and not shrink.  I am fine and have shown ned since,, and my last ct was 11-11-13.  I feel fortunate that  the lung cancer was caught early and probably wouldn't have been caught had I not had follow up scans for the anal cancer.  I wish you well, and keep us posted. Lori

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I was also treated for anal cancer, stage 2. Ended treatment 2/2011. Last year, a 5 mm nodule was seen in my lungs and they have been following with ct scans every 3 months. It appears to have grown slightly, but we don't have measurement yet. Had ct scan yesterday. The doctor thinks it needs to come out, but is in a difficult location, so could not be done by vats. Needless to say, I am quite upset and I do not want another big surgery. I need to work and cannot take more time off without going bankrupt! I do not know yet, what I will do. They don't know yet whether it is a metastasis or new cancer, or benign. I have also had another cancer, which required major surgery. I am going to spend the next few days trying to decide what to do next. I haven't told my family yet. Any advice? God, help us!

pem
Posts: 61
Joined: Mar 2013

i want to thank everyone for responding to my message.  i dont go on this site very often anymore.  im trying to live and put this cancer thing behind me for awhile while i am considered ned and told by my dr that things look good.  marynb have you made  a decision on what you plan to do next?  as for telling your family, i didnt tell them anything until i knew for sure what i was gonna do and  got all reslults.  i figure why have them worry before the time anything is being done or until i myself know for sure what the plan is.  but thats just me.  i didnt want all the sympathy or reactions from everyone to deal with cause whenever i think about it around someone or its brought up i always started to cry and i hate showing emotion in front of others.  im sure whatever you decide will be the right decision.  god bless you all!      pem

katenorwood
Posts: 1853
Joined: May 2012

This is a scary situation period.  But there are many options on lung noduals these days.  I have been told by many cyber knife is one, Cryoblation another.  Please take the time to ask your team about the different options that may suit your situation.   Will be thinking only positives for you !  Katie    

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I have not decided what to do yet. I see the surgeon in a week. I really, really don't want to endure another surgery. I have already had to battle 2 different cancers in the past 3 yrs. I read my reports. The original scan was 4 mm on a ct scan, then 5 mm on 2 pet scans. The last one was 4mm on pet scan. Ugh. There are mutliple nodules, but for some reason they are only concerned with this one.

Thanks for the responses! I have kept this a secret from everyone , just hoping this goes away. Prayers are much appreciated!

pem
Posts: 61
Joined: Mar 2013

hello again !  well i had another scan of the whole lung and abdomen area.  not sure if you remember my story but im the one who had nodes in one scan and got bigger on second scan but shrunk on third scan.  well on this fourth scan the nodules that were there are still shrinking and some even gone but now there are new ones in different places.  even that stuff he called "fluffy" kinda went away.  my concern is that again they are saying probably related to my asthma or infection going on but no one is concerned about that and are not doing anything about it.  oh and i apparently have somthing wrong with an arourta valve to my heart.  his answer to that was tell my family dr about that. i wrote this all on the anal cancer board as well and was asking if i should get a second opinion and names of dr that are considered the best in dealing with anal cancer.  but i was thinking if i should see a dr that deals with lung cancer?  if thats the case do you have names and numbers of a good dr i can get in touch with?  that would be greatly appreciated.  i am from canada and am willing to go anywhere for some answers to what i have going on in my lungs.  god bless you !  pem

dennycee
Posts: 685
Joined: Mar 2011

Of course I remember.  I would like to correct something I said.  If steroids can reduce shrinking of swelling of brain tissue, a simple node should have been easy. 

I'll answer to the best of my ability, first, I honestly don't think there is any way to prevent nodules from becoming enlarged as a result of the inflamation that asthma causes Short of curing asthma- not just treating it.  As yet we have no cure for asthma.  As for those that might be caused by an infection, your body is successfully fighting of colds, strep, staph, pneumonia and other infections or those would become serious and require antibiotics or antiviral medications.  As distressing as the enlarged nodules may be it is a reminder that your body is preventing infections. 

A second opinion is always a good idea.  You may want to consult with a pulmonologist.  I'm not really certain where to go in Canada. Perhaps someone at the inspire.com website or at LUNGevity or Lung Cancer Alliance could help.  Do they think the problem with the aorta may be linked to your prior chemotherapy?  Please let me knhow what is said.  

pem
Posts: 61
Joined: Mar 2013

Thanks for responding. I do like to read your entries. I find them very educational. I have seen a respitoryy specialist here in Canada .  That's what ours is called instead of a pulmonolOgist.  She didn't have much to offer me other then that it didn't look asthma related. That scared me a bit. My oncologist doesn't think a respitoryy specialist can offer any advice in this matter , whether it's cancer or not.   Not sure really who to trust my life on anymore. No one seems to want to give me any numbers to good dr , not sure why. I am from canada but will go anywhere for a second opinion to ease my mind that I'm not dying. it's not like I'm gonna say I got the number from this site. I'm just super scared and need to do something quick to feel better.  God bless you. Pem

katenorwood
Posts: 1853
Joined: May 2012

Hello !

I have noduals that are being watched yearly.  I also have had asthma all my life.  Yes, environment and infection can cause these to show up, and many will either encapsulate (meaning usually NO cancer) or shrink and stay the same or disappear as things resolve on their own. 

I do have a head and neck dx, that is know to come back, and mets to the lungs.  I think your doctor is wise to take the watch and see for a bit on these.  I know what it's like to have very weak lungs, I'm sorry you have to deal with this.  That in itself is a struggle.  I use a rule of thumb on mine, if they get to be around 2 cm's, its time to do something.  Until then with mine, it's watch and wait.

Only good thoughts sent your direction, and try to relax.  Stay in contact with your drs. and things will work out.  Katie

   

pem
Posts: 61
Joined: Mar 2013

Thanks for responding.  I surely hope the nodules that are showing up or disappearing or just shrinking are not cancerous. so sorry you also have asthma. It isn't fun to have. What does dx to head neck mean?  So you also have lung cancer?  The dr know the differance between the cancerous nodules and the asthma related ones?  You also have the same thing happening , nodules coming and going or just shrinking?  did you get a second opinion?  God bless you!   Pem

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