2 Months post Lung Surgery - new nodules?

nyisles Member Posts: 30

Had surgery on 4/30/13 to remove 2 nodules that were on the outside of my left lung which flaked off from the kidney. Have one "speck" of dust on the outside of the right lung that they are monitoring.  So I start coughing a couple a weeks ago and go to one of those "Doc in a box" places where you just walk in to be seen. I wanted to see if I had a URI or Bronchitis or anything else.  They listen to my lungs and said they are clear.  They give me a chest X-ray and say they saw something. The Doc said he saw 2 very small shadows (nodules) inside the left lung. I said my cancer was kidney cancer that flaked off to the outside, so what are those inside.  He told me it could be nothing or something.  I asked if it could be related to my surgery and he said yes. He said that it may be scarring or they way my lung adjusted to the decreased capacity. So then I asked, how is the right one looking?  Did it get any bigger?  They said they did not see anything on the right lung.  Now I know for SURE there is something on the right, so if the chest X-ray does not see it, I take that as good news.  Perhaps the right one has not gotten bigger or else it would have shown on an X-ray if it was a certain large size. 

After cameras in my body and multiple X-rays in the hospital, there was no mention of any nodules.  Is this most likely scar tissue from surgery or did the RCC get inside the lung out of nowhere?  Has anyone heard of this? The Doc today gave me CD of the X-ray and told me to show my Thoractic surgeon to be sure it is nothing. These two "shadows" apparently are in the middle of the lung.  This is the same place that told my dad he had something on his lung and his lung doc said it was nothing.  It was the shadow caused by his body.  So I hope it is nothing or something that is part of the surgery and not 2 more new spots.  Has anyone heard of this or have experience with it?  Of course I started sweating and almost passed out in the office when I was told that. 


  • Galrim
    Galrim Member Posts: 307
    Yes and no

    I had/still have some experience with nodules, though so far they have not been related to my RCC (check my profile for the background). What I did learn however, since I have also been intensely monitored due to nodules, is that its really an area where its hard to determine the cause and nature of nodules in general just by imaging.

    Biopsy, resection and monitoring of growth are the only way to determine what they are.

    Lung nodules can appear for a number of reasons, of which a big part results in benign nodules. Scarring after surgery, inhaled particles, scarring after pneumonia, colds, bronkitis, astma, you name it. Thats also why usually most docs wont give an affirmative answer to what they suspect just at a first glance, and usually take the wait and watch approach (or biopsy).

    RCC mets to the lungs can appear anywhere, inner lobe, outer lobe, anywhere basically.

    As for the "missing" nodule on the right lung. If its benign its not unusual that it can dissappear, or if its small enough its below the detectable treshold on X-rays (which is good because then it hasnt grown).

    Bottom line, theres so many ifs and buts and whys when it comes to lung nodules, that you should take all the info you just got and go see your thorasic surgeon as well as your oncologist and ask them to review all of the above and present their conclusions and thoughts to you.