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"Suspicious" Lung Nodules

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2012

This is my first post on this board, and I'm just looking for some info and encouragement. I had a CT scan today that showed two lung nodules, the largest being 1 cm. The radiologist's report was read to me over the phone, and the nodules were described as "suspicious." The report also said that there was no sign of cancer on the CT. Exactly what is meant by a "suspicious" nodule? Also, is it possible to identify cancer from a CT? I have an appointment with a pulmonologist in a couple of days, and I'm sure he'll explain more, but I'm just devastated right now from the report. I live alone, no family nearby, and no one to talk to right now. Thanks for any info and help.

Ex_Rock_n_Roller's picture
Posts: 281
Joined: Mar 2011

... dependent on who's using the term. At minimum, it means that they can't identify the problem based solely on the info in hand. The CT may show features that are consistent with cancer, but to get a clear identification they will need to do a biopsy. My guess is that the pulmonologist will want to try to get down in there with a bronchoscope and take some samples for biopsy, assuming at least one of the nodules is reachable.

Don't panic before seeing the biopsy results. There are a number of things that can cause lung nodules.

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

They most certainly can NOT diagnose cancer from a CT. Take my word for it, after a CT I was told with great certainty that I had cancer when they found a 7cm mass in my lung. It turend out not to be cancer but it was a bad infection which cost me half my lung. The Rock n Roller is right, it could be a lot of things. No need to panic now.

I had 3 different biopsies so I (and many others here) can answer your questions about any of the tests. I hope you will post back with your results. Good luck, I hope it turns out for the best.


Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2012

Thanks for the replies and encouragement to my initial post. I have met with the pulmonologist that I was referred to. He has a very good reputation in my area and I know several people that go to him for various lung problems. He looked at my CT scan and said that he believes there is some calcification in the nodule, which would be in favor of it being benign, as well as my being low-risk from having never smoked. The radiologist's report did not mention anything about the possible calcification. He wants to get another CT scan in 4 months to see if there are any changes. If there are, he said we could do a PET scan. If not, he recommended a scan every 4 months for two years, and if there are no changes during that time, there would be no need for more follow-up. I feel some better about the whole deal for now. Just hoping that nothing changes on the next scans. I'm still concerned about the radiologist report not mentioning the calcification, but the pulmonologist has been in practice for 20+ years, so I'm trying to put more weight on his observations than an unknown radiologist that I've never met. At least it's making it easier for me to deal with it. If anyone's been through this process, let me know what you think. Thanks :)

z's picture
Posts: 1414
Joined: May 2009

Duane, I had lung cancer in my lower right lobe which was removed via vats on 9-23-10. The standard procedure was followed as initially the nodule was 7mm and I was re-scanned in 3 months to see if it grew, and it grew to 11mm at which time it had to come out. With vats they biopsy the nodule in the OR and if its cancer they continue, if not they close you up. It was squamous cell.

I have follow up scans every 6 months and on the one in Jan. 2012 a 5mm nodule was found in my left lower lung, and I was re-scanned again in 3 months and it was gone.

With all that said I think your dr is following the standard protocol, and if it were to grow it would be caught very early if indeed it is a cancer. I wish you great scans, and keep us posted. Lori

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