Abnormalities in the lungs

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kristasplace
kristasplace Member Posts: 957 Member
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Hi there! Well, chemo is all done, and i'm still dealing with the post treatment scans. Apparently the radiologist found something on my lung that she described as a slow growing lesion. My oncologist did a HUGE song and dance explaining to me the workings of a CT scan and how it only shows 3mm at a time, or something, and that the image only caught part of it last time, and now the radiologist thinks it's grown because the scan shows more of it now.

I've been mulling this over for a week now, and i'm wondering why my oncologist doesn't think it's cancer? He said it can be many other things. I'd like to know if anyone else has had something show up on their lung that didn't end up being spread? I know this cancer loves to spread to the liver and the lungs. I have another scan next week.

Any info would be WONDERFUL!
Many hugs,
Krista

Comments

  • CherylHutch
    CherylHutch Member Posts: 1,375 Member
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    Lung stuff
    Hi Krista,

    Well, I'm sort of in the same boat as you, where I'm a bit of an enigma to my doctors. My first PET scan, which was last March, 2008, lit up with one spot on my lung. The fact that it lit up on the PET scan makes it very suspicious for being cancer. So a CAT scan of my lungs was ordered and sure enough this "spot" that lit up was a 10-12mm lesion.

    I'm not sure what your oncologist meant by the CT scan only shows 3mm at a time... my CT scan showed that it was 10-12mm depending on what angle you looked at it. My lung surgeon showed me and said the fact that it lit up the PET scan and then showed me how the edges of the lesion on the CAT scan were not smooth, that it's a pretty sure bet that it is cancer. On that same first PET scan, it also showed my right adrenal gland lit up... which is a very strange place for colon cancer to spread to, but I had my right adrenal gland surgically removed at the end of June and sure enough, it was a spread of the colon cancer, so my lung surgeon is pretty sure this one in the lung is too.

    On that same CT scan, it found 6 small (less than 6mm) spots that were worth watching. That was in March, had the adrenal surgery in June and then in August I went for another CT and then PET scan. The CT scan showed that 3 of the nodules/spots had not changed, 2 had grown slightly and 1 was brand new (6mm). The radiologist, the lung surgeon and my oncologist all say these are growing so agonizingly slow, they are not sure what we are dealing with with the small 6mm and under ones... we only know that the 14mm (which had grown to 16mm) was 99% sure it was cancer. The lung surgeon doesn't want to go in and do the surgery to remove the 16mm until we know what the others are... and if they are cancer, he'd rather I do 6 rounds of chemo to see if 1) they shrink or go away (which means they are cancer if they are affected by the chemo) and 2) if there are any other cells just starting to take root, the chemo might kill them off. Then we'd do the surgery.

    My oncologist wants a third opinion, since these are growing so slowly. If they are NOT cancer, then she doesn't want me to go through 3 months of chemo only to find they aren't cancer and we could have just gone ahead with the surgery and removed the one. So she's sending my scans to a radiologist at another hospital to have him see if it would be to my benefit to have the spots ablated (using a needle/tool and CT scan, he'd enter the spot and zap it with some sort of heat).

    It's true... the spots could be anything, if they are growing so slowly! It's possible that it's just cancer growing extremely slow... on the other hand, it could be some scarring in your lung. They are pretty sure two of mine are scarring from when I had pneumonia many years ago. I also smoked for 32 years, so it's possibly some of these might be damage from smoking... or they can even be benign growths that grow, but are not malignant.

    I was going to say, that they'd probably want to do another scan if they aren't sure about this one... but I see you already have another scan set up for next week. So, I wouldn't be too concerned. What throws them is if they are growing really really slowly. My lung surgeon said that he was almost thinking that my larger lesion might not be cancer because it's growing so slowly. He says it's normal for a malignant growth in the lung to grow 2-3 times it's size in 6 months... and mine has barely grown at all. But they've decided, in my case, that it is cancer because it has lit up the PET scan twice now. But the jury is out on what these small spots are ;)

    Huggggggs,

    Cheryl
  • sladich
    sladich Member Posts: 429 Member
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    Lung Lesions
    Krista,

    My colon cancer spread to my lung first (bypassed my liver). I opted to have surgery (11/04)removing the lower lobe of my left lung. Last fall (2007) a spot showed up in my left lung again and the CT and PET both confirmed it was cancer. The SUV was higher than 2.5. I opted to have a lung RFA rather than surgery again. My lesion was only 7mm. I hope everything works out for you. Keep us posted.

    Debbie
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
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    I don't have anything to contribute...
    but a hug....

    Please keep us posted....

    Hugs, Kathi
  • Hanac
    Hanac Member Posts: 55
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    I had lung nodules
    Hi Krista,

    I had three spots on my lungs one year after I finished treatment. They were worried that the cancer had spread because they didn't show up the year before. The PET sort of lit up in the area, but not significantly. My onc decided to take them out because they might have been slightly too small to light up the PET scan. I had been stage three with 5 lymph nodes involved, so my onc decided to take them out. (They were too small for a needle biopsy.) This story has a happy ending. They took out the two larger nodules and determined that they were sarcoids...not cancer at all. (I'm getting emotional all over again thinking of that moment when they told me that the cancer had not spread) When I had my annual CT scan this year, the last little nodule was still there, unchanged. Even though I had to go through the procedure, I was so glad that the onc did not take a wait and see attitude. What a relief to know.

    So I guess the moral of this story is spots aren't necessarily cancer. My prayers are with you. Keep us posted.

    Love Ya!

    Hana
  • changing2
    changing2 Member Posts: 118
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    Me Too
    Nothing on my PET/CT for the lung. However a CTA test (checking to see if blood clots in the lung resolved) showed "scarring and 2 nodules" both having no growth in 3 months and did "not appear suspicious"for cancer! :)MD says issues may be related to chemo treatments and not anything to do with mets. Praying it's the same for you....good news!
  • jenjerandkatesmom
    jenjerandkatesmom Member Posts: 37
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    Lung Nodules
    I had 2 very tiny nodules appear on my CT scan in May. The oncologist recommended waiting another 3 months and repeating the scan. He told me they could be benign but it was important to watch them for change in anyone with a history of colorectal cancer. My scan in August showed that one changed , one did not and there was another new one. My PET scan was inconclusive. (Didn't light up much at all because they were too small) My oncologist recommended a biopsy which could be done via scope, primarily because I did not want to play the waiting game any longer. Both nodules were colorectal cancer and I will be starting Folfuri next week. There are days that I am very grateful that I am not very patient when it comes to this disease. It's a sneaky beast! It is a good thing you are having another scan next week. I will keep you in my prayers that there is no change so that you can breathe a little easier.
    -Sharon
  • kristasplace
    kristasplace Member Posts: 957 Member
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    Lung Nodules
    I had 2 very tiny nodules appear on my CT scan in May. The oncologist recommended waiting another 3 months and repeating the scan. He told me they could be benign but it was important to watch them for change in anyone with a history of colorectal cancer. My scan in August showed that one changed , one did not and there was another new one. My PET scan was inconclusive. (Didn't light up much at all because they were too small) My oncologist recommended a biopsy which could be done via scope, primarily because I did not want to play the waiting game any longer. Both nodules were colorectal cancer and I will be starting Folfuri next week. There are days that I am very grateful that I am not very patient when it comes to this disease. It's a sneaky beast! It is a good thing you are having another scan next week. I will keep you in my prayers that there is no change so that you can breathe a little easier.
    -Sharon

    Lung Abnormalities
    After reading everyone's comments, it sounds like it's more likely to be cancer. I, like you, Cheryl, am a long time smoker, so i'm hoping it's just scar tissue. The radiologist thinks it's growing, but my oncologist doesn't think so. I trust him, but he's not the radiologist!

    My scan is October 30th, but i don't see my onc again until November 10th.
    The only other thing that concerns me is that if it is a slow growth, is it going to change enough in the six weeks since my last scan to prove it is growing?

    Thank you all for your responses!
    Krista