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ct scan shows spot on lung

littlejulie's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: Mar 2004

hi there,
my mother was recently diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. she's been having several tests done and her liver is clear but the ct scan showed a 'small spot' on the lung. the doctor said it might just be an infection from when she was young that never healed or it might be cancer. has anyone ever heard of something like this?

Posts: 176
Joined: Mar 2003

Yes I have that also and we are just waiting to see if anything happens.

Anonymous user (not verified)

Hi littlejulie! My husband Bert was diagnosed stage III August 2003 and all scans until the the one in January 2004 have been clean. His CAT done then showed multiple nodules in both lungs ranging from 4mm - 8mm. Some were calcifications, some were not identifiable by the Cat Scan alone so Bert's oncologist ordered at PET. Needless to say until the results came back we sat on pins and needles. Once PET results were received, the lung nodules did turn out to be calcifications with no activity. To be on the safe side, another PET was ordered six weeks after the first and again, no evidence of disease.

Bottom line...hang in there...it truly can be nothing. I would ask your mother's oncologist about the possibility of ordering a Pet scan. While Pets can also have false readings, these do pick up recurrences at very early stages which CAT scans can and do miss.


Posts: 232
Joined: Apr 2003

Julie-A previous site of infection or other injury can leave a scar that can mimic a nodule caused by cancer. My mother had such a spot in her lung.

A PET scan might help sort things out. This is a test in which a very small amount of radioactive material that mimics glucose is injected. This material gets picked up in areas where there is higher metabolism of the tissues due to cancer or active infection or perhaps inflammation.

No test is perfect; very small nodules may not show up on PET scans. Another means of evaluating a nodule is to monitor it for changes in size. A scar should not change with time.

Here is hoping that the "spot" is from some old injury.

Best wishes,


Posts: 238
Joined: Sep 2003

Dear Julie,

I second everyone on the board. Spots show up all the time on CTs. But the diagnosis of cancer throws every "spot" into suspect. I bet it's probably nothing, our poor lungs deal with a lot of infections, bumps and bruises, but I would strongly suggest a PET scan. When things started showing up in my lungs on CT I insisted that I do a PET as oppose to wait and see if the spots grow. Unfortunately, there are some "hot spots" on the scan BUT less than was indicated on the CT. I even have a friend with osteosarcoma that underwent lung surgery because they saw new spots... They removed them and they all turned out to be begnin!

Although it may be hard to stay cool, calm and collected,keep the faith and be persistent. I would insist on more follow-up.

Good luck and lots of warm thoughts,

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

Ahoy, littlejulie -

Everyone here is right-on so I won't bother to repeat what they've said. I will say this, though; it sounds like you have a good doc! So often it seems (and I hope my professional medical friends will pardon me for saying this) that many docs are more wrapped around the paradigm of telling you how long you'll live or what the odds are of you surviving another 5 years now that there is a "spot" on the lung. Your doc sounds like a pragmatist and let you know that it could well be nothing. Watch and see if it gets bigger and go from there.

You're doing all the right stuff and you have a good consultant!

Stay well

- SpongeBob

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