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My sis has to wait and see....

Patrusha
Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006

My sister has a number of "spots" in her lungs and has seen a pulmonologist. He said there are "several" nodules in the 3-4mm range that appear to be calcified. There are also a number of 1-2 mm spots that he wants to follow with another CAT scan in three months because he said they are too small for either a needle aspiration or bronchoscopy.

How big does a nodule have to be to enable an appropriate sample?

I hate the wait-and-see game. They're gonna wait and see if the buggers grow big enough to be biopsied. Hopefully they won't proliferate in the intervening three months.

Sheesh.

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2599
Joined: Apr 2003

Hey there "Sheesh"!

After 26 years in government service I know the hurry-up and wait drill all too well. I have a number of spots in my lungs that show up on CT scans - mostly scar tissue (nope, never smoked).

Hopefully, all will be OK with her. Keeping you both in my prayers.

- SB

Patrusha
Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006

Thanks, Bob. Scary thing is that a chest xray she had three years ago was all clear. Now there are multiple nodules througout. Yet she has no synptoms. Very wierd....

shmurciakova's picture
shmurciakova
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

Geez, that stinks! I had to do the same watching and waiting game to the tune of 8 MONTHS! There were lots of ups and downs during that time, its not cancer, it is cancer, its not cancer, etc. etc. I had 2 PET scans done that came back negative even though my little nodes doubled in size from 4mm to aroun 8-10mm between February and August, and my CEA was rising, it was not until they got to 1cm in size that the scan came back positive and also I finally had them removed. So, unfortunately it can take a while. However, luckily in my case that gave them time to see if anything else "popped up" and it thankfully did not.
They can posssibly biopsy smaller nodules but there is the danger of not removing the correct sample of tissue when they are too small.. However, maybe your sisters situation is different because on me they never considered a needle aspiration or a bronchoscopy. I had a wedge resection to get mine out.
Good luck,
Susan

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2599
Joined: Apr 2003

A "wedge" resection? UGH! That conjures up some rough visuals - all I can think of is splitting wood with a maul and a wedge! I sure wish these surgeons would come up with better names for their surgical procedures. They need to get like an interior designer to name their procedures, you know? I mean, consider the names they come up with for paint... I would imagine a "wedge" resection would be come a "Camabert" (like the cheese) and a "thoractomy" would be called a "whisper reduction"....

UGH...

Cheers

- SB

shmurciakova's picture
shmurciakova
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

I think the surgeons probably like those names. A wedge resection aka thoracotomy, yuck...instead of a wedge of cheese it's a wedge of your lung! It's only like a fingernail sized wedge though, not like a wedge you use to cut down trees! LOL. Anyway, no fun...but so far so good.
-Susan

vinny3's picture
vinny3
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

I don't remember your sister's story. If there are multiple spots in her lungs that they are considering as possible metastases (as it would be unlikely to be primary lung tumors) has she had scans of her abdomen and pelvis? If not, she should probably have those too. If she has had them or I am off base because I don't remember her history, forgive me.

Dick

Patrusha
Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006

Hi Dick. My sister has no history of cancer. She was having abdominal pains and went to the doc. She had an abdominal ultrasound, colonoscopy, chest Xray. Everything was OK except the chest xray which showed multiple lung nodules so they did a CT scan. Some are calcified, some are not. We had a sister (non-smoker) who died of lung cancer. I had the colon cancer. Dad has had prostate, bladder and kidney cancer. So we're concerned about this sis, too...

nanuk's picture
nanuk
Posts: 1363
Joined: Dec 2003

geez Bob, couldn't you get a little more graphic?
I had a "Wedggie" when I came up with "several-(13)
nodules" 1-3mm or so. They did a thoracotomy to get a sample; they first placed a wire "target" via X-ray-(?) for the surgeon to locate the area to cut the wedge, but the target moved while I was being transported to the OR, and the surgeon "took a chance" and guessed the location-he got lucky-(for him) and came up with a wedge that was positive for crc.
All this points to the fact that a wedge resection is possible. bud

Patrusha
Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006

So, Bud, do you think they could do (or should do) a wedge resection on my sister's lung because of the multiple nodules rather than wait? Is the excuse that the nodules are too small a cop out? I'm not comfortable with her waiting (given our family history) if there is something that can be done now. Whatcha think?

nudgie's picture
nudgie
Posts: 1483
Joined: Sep 2006

I am an ex-smoker and was told, due to other tests, that I had lung nodules and needed to keep an eye on for about 2 years. I started getting CT Scans back in 2002 yearly. My last CT Scan for cancer was Jan 22 07 and my nodules have not changed in size. The smallest is 4mm and the largest is 7mm.

There are many people who have nodules and don't realize. In your sister's case, are her nodules due to her cancer?

Patrusha
Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006

She hasn't had cancer, Nudgie. A chest Xray three years ago was completely clear. Now there are multiple nodules.

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