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New and confused - Need Your Advice

ThursdaysChild
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2007

Hi everyone: My dr's nurse said a CT scan of my lung came back with a small non-calcified nodule. She said don't worry, we'll look at it in 3 mos. Since I smoked 18-19 of the past 38 years (I'm 48), it makes me nervous to think I need to wait. I got a copy of the radiology report and it says there are 4 (not 1) noncalcified nodules on my right lung. Two are 6-7 mm ea., the others are 4 mm. The report ends that the scan is unremarkable and followup in 3 mos with a new CT.
This makes me really nervous. Don't they do needle aspirations when nodules go over 5 cc?
Should I get a 2nd opinion?
What kind of specialist does 2nd opinions for lung nodes?
I'm clueless and could use your advise.
Susan

beatlemike
Posts: 55
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Susan,I dont have your answers but am praying for good results for you.I also reccomend a web site called lung cancer support community. Very informative and helpful.

ThursdaysChild
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2007

Thank you, I will check it out as well. I did manage to get an appointment with an oncologist this coming week. He's going to look at the scan slides and give me his thoughts. Just knowing that someone who is a specialist is looking at them helps a lot. Susan

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

When my first x-ray showed a spot, I was able to call my sister who happpens to be a doctor. She said they should order a CAT scan, which they did. If the scan was very ominous, they would act immediately. If the spot was not obviously cancer, they would do a second scan in about 3 months. That's exactly what they did. When it it showed some growth, they did a PET/CAT scan. Mine turned out to be cancer, however, my sister and many of my friends told me stories where they had surgery only to find out that something else caused their lung nodules. My surgeon even told me a story of a patient he had had the week before that he was sure had cancer. She turned out to have TB--a serious condition, but treatable with antibiotics. Another friend had some dried mucus in his lung from a bout of bronchitis. There are several diseases that can cause lung nodules. Some are as serious as cancer. Some aren't. I would talk to either a pulmonary specialist or a lung surgeon specialist if I wanted a second opinion. I know it is hard, but if you are facing any kind of lung disease and/or lung surgery, the first thing you need to do is stop smoking. You will want to keep as much lung function as you possibly can so that your doctors can give you more options. Good luck!

MadelynJoe's picture
MadelynJoe
Posts: 96
Joined: Sep 2003

Dear Thursday:

Run, don't walk, to an oncologist for further testing. You need a PET scan and further testing immediately. I would NOT wait 3 months.

I was diagnosed with a small (2.8CM) nonspecific nodule in May of 2005 and it turned out to be NSCLC. I had successful surgery and then chemo. I am now 26 months cancer free.

If you have a cancerous tumor, you CAN come out on the winning side. Just act on it now.

God bless you as you go through this journey

Madelyn

ThursdaysChild
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2007

Cabbott and Madelyn: Thank you so much for your replies. I stopped smoking when I started getting pain in my chest. Went to the Dr. and got the CT a week later. I'm definately going to get a 2nd opinion. In addition to the total # of years I smoked, I probably need to add in the first 10 years of my life when my dad smoked in the house.

It's amazing how your world can change in 1 day. Some things just don't seem so important any more.

Madelyn, how wonderful to hear you have been cancer free for over 2 years. It's 3 years some sort of mark where if you make it without recurrence it's an indicator you may not get it back?

Cabott: Hope you'redoing okay.

Beatlemike: Like the board to which you referred me. Even saw one of YOUR posts over there :-)
Susan

(Thursday Child)

MadelynJoe's picture
MadelynJoe
Posts: 96
Joined: Sep 2003

Thursday:

In the world of oncology, they usually consider you cured at the 5 year cancer free mark.

Keep us posted on your progress.

Madelyn

mnrs_wiz
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2007

Hi Susan;
I am 46 years old and had a tumor on my left lung with some Lymph node involvement. The tumor was to small for needle aspirations and in such spot that could cause the lung to collapse. My Pulmonay doctor said not to worry about them and come back in 3 months. I ignored his advise, thankfully so and went to another pulmonary doctor who had me in with a Heart Surgeon (they do lung surgery not Pulmonary docks like you would think) and the Heart surgeon consulted with the radiologist and decided that needle aspiration was out of the question so we need an open biopsy and I was diagnosed with stage 3a/ Non small cell lung carcineoma cancer. I have now gone thru chemo/radiation and have had my upper left lobe of the lung removed. After surgery we followed up with more chemo/radiation and am now on stage 3 of chemo and hopefully the final round. Good luck but I would personally not wait 3 months.Alicia

LloydMicheal
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2007

Never be afraid of a second op.You have totake care of you and never give up

deus82's picture
deus82
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2007

It never hurts to get a second opinion. I hope everything turned out ok.

Hutton07
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2009

I would definitely get a second opinion. Cancer is a scary and mysterious disease and I think it is important to find a doctor who understands our confusion and is willing to work with us to answer our questions.

By the way, they told us that my Mom would be off from chemo for six months. I was not sure about that either, as she is almost 80, we are getting a second opinion.

Keep asking questions, you are the captain of your own ship.

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