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help, need opinions or answers, the following is a reading from a ct scan I just had and kind of don't want to wait fo follow up

Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2012

Can anyone tell me how bad, if it is, this is? Tired of waiting to hear. Here is what I am wondering about.


Scattered emphysematous changes. The aorta is not dilated. Central pulmonary arteries are unremarkable. No evidence of central pulmonary emboli pericardial effusion or cardiomegaly. Limited views of the upper abdomen is unremarkable.Vague infiltrate within the anterior right upper lobe image 188 and within left lower lobe with some nodularity along its inferior margin image 203. Could represent pneumonia versus scar. Bronchial wall thickening suggesting bronchitis. 5 mm pulmonary nodule right lung base image 236, left upper lobe image 105.


Appreciate any and all input, thank you

Posts: 844
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi mconley,
Can you help us out and tell us what you are concerned about waiting to follow up on? My knowledge is limited about some of the issues reflected in the report but I have spent the last two years learning as much as I can so that I can participate in the decision process if my cancer reoccurs. The infiltrates are caused by infections or disease that are not cancer (that I have been able learn). Can you tell us what the cause of the scar tissue might be? Was there a cancer in the past? If it regards the 5mm nodule it is too small to biopsy and at this time might yield a false negative. Infections, even something as simple as a cold can cause the nodules to become enlarged.

Please let us know more about what you hope to have answered so we can help you better.

Edit to correct point of error: infiltrates can be cancerous many are not.

ToBeGolden's picture
Posts: 695
Joined: Aug 2010

My wife and I both have pulmonary nodules which have not grown for years. But of course, you are not concerned about statistics, you are only concerned about your nodules (as you should be). From my poor understanding, there are two ways to determine whether the nodules are cancer: (1) they grow, or (2) biopsy.

I am facing some of your same decisions. The big problem with a biopsy in my mind is that although a biopsy can "prove" the presence of cancer, it cannot "prove" the patient is cancer-free. Because the biopsy sample may have missed taking the cancer cells.

The other question to ask is whether there would be any treatment at this time. My oncologist said he would not treat until the cancer grew even if he had proof that it was cancer. So I declined the biopsy for the time being. I will be seeking information for myself on this board. Best of luck. Rick.

Posts: 220
Joined: Dec 2009

Why would your Dr. wait for the cancer to grow before treating makes no sense, I was always told the faster treatment starts the better, I have ct-scan or chest x-ray every 3 months so if my cancer (SCLC 3B DX in May 2008) comes back they can start treatments the sooner the better..... Dan

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