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Lung nodules

denisesheree's picture
Posts: 7
Joined: May 2006

I would like some advice. I am a stage 1V colorectal with mets to liver have done all treatments and surgery and all looked good until I just had my one year pet/cat scans and now there is "nodules" in my lungs which were there before however one grew from 3mm to 5mm and now a new one at 5mm. My oncolgist said too small to biopsy or do anything and i will just get another pet/cat scan in 6 months. I of course am concerned and would appreciate any opinions or if others have had similar findings. Thank You All

vinny3's picture
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

At that size it is hard to tell what to do. You probably have to wait but how about 3 months to recheck? If growing at that point I would think they would consider some further chemo. The other thing is, make sure your scans are being read by the same radiologist. Sometimes one will comment on something that another doesn't. Let's hope they are just the usual spots many of us have.


Monicaemilia's picture
Posts: 455
Joined: Nov 2006

Hi Denise: The same thing happened to me and I opted for more chemo right away. The problem with that is that we are still unsure whether it is cancer or not. The c-scans tend to be inconclusive (one scan it is growing, the next the radiologist is unsure). I was told that in order to be sure I would have to go on a 'chemo rest'. I will pray that it is not mets, but if it is, I was also told that they could resect the lungs. Also, spots on the lungs could be from a myriad of reasons, including chemo itself and surgery. The one thing I would do is ask if the next scan could be at 3 months (as Dick suggested) rather than 6. Until you hear otherwise, enjoy the next few months as if you were NED and try not to fret too much. Monica

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

I agree with Dick....were both scans done by the same machine, read by the same person? I had two different ones....results were so different, we went back to the 'old' machine...results were the same as the earlierfirst scan, no change....

Hoping this is the same for you!!!

But, also, 6 months seems a little long to wait...maybe because of the radiation levels...I actually got a mild case of radiation sickness at one point...getting rads for the breast ca, positioning for the 'targeted' rads, AND followup Redi-cat CT scan for my rectal ca....sigh...can we say "Heroshima"?????

Hugs, Kathi

shmurciakova's picture
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

Hello Denise,
I have been through what you are going through. I know that it is the pits to wait and see, but honestly, your oncologist is right. The nodules are too small to tell if they are cancerous or benign. Until they are 1cm in size they will probably not light up on a PET scan and they will not be able to biopsy them. I waited 8 months before my small (2) lung nodules grew to the point that they were finally resected. I had 2 PET scans prior to that time that both came back negative (false negatives). Keep an eye on your CEA. If it continues to rise you will know something is going on. Also, from my own personal experience I think 6 months is soon enough, but if you feel uncomfortable with that , then ask if you can do your CT scans in 4 months instead. Then again in 8 months. By then the nodules will have changed if they are cancer, or stayed the same if not. At any rate, I would not rush into more chemo. "Save it" if God forbid you need to do it later on. You do not want to "waste" your chemo on nodules that can be surgically removed. Tumors can become resistant to certain chemo regiments....so that is my opinion. Feel free to check out my personal web page. Take care and best wishes. I know it is the pits waiting, but that is really all that you can do.

peacegift2002's picture
Posts: 16
Joined: Apr 2004

I had a lung nodule too and we "watched and waited" for a year - that was hard. But I trusted my doc (and then some stuff elsewhere came up, that is another story.) The point I want to share is that those are easy to take out with this "video assisted" surgery they can do and if they are slow growing, the only way they know for sure it is cancer is if it grows. You are on the right track. And Denise, isn't it the pits! God bless.

Betsydoglover's picture
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi -

I had my first CT scan at the end of May 2005, following my diagnosis and prior to my surgery. I subsequently had PETs and diagnostic CT's in late June, August, December, February and March (up to 2006 now). In April 2006 I again had PET and CT at NIH (March one was also NIH). The April CT mentioned right lung nodules (nothing lit up on PET, then or ever). I totally flipped. Much investigation - turns out they had been there since my initial end of May '05 CT scan - no change - all less than 3mm and "well-circumscribed". My regular radiologist did not view them as being of any clinical significance, so he did not comment previously. Suddenly an NIH radiologist decided to mention them (FYI - this was the most terse, least descriptive radiology report ever - a poor report as I have discovered can happen). I consulted in late May 2006 with an interventional radiologist at NIH - he examined the CT and compared to my early one and his opinion was that there was no change (and no significance to the "nodules"). He told me not to worry, but also said that to be absolutely "out of the woods" with respect to lung "nodules", you need to wait 2 years.

Since then my regular radiologist has commented on these every time (at my request) - no change and no concern as far as he and my oncologist are concerned. Just had another set of PET and CT scans which are considered clean. So - my next scans in July will be past that magic two year mark and that point I will really stop even thinking about these lung "nodules". Hope it works out the same for you.

Take care,

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