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After CT scan, Tiny spots on lung and Liver

Posts: 199
Joined: Nov 2012

I finished chemotherapy therapy in September for stage !V colon cancer.  I had my second CT scan last Monday and the Onc called today and left a message that I still have a tiny spot on my lung and two very small cysts on my liver.  What alarmed me was the word "still".  I had never heard before today that I had ANY spots or cysts found on my previous scan.  Needless to say...I was a little freaked out.  I had an appointment with the Onc in January and these spots were not mentioned.  I called the Dr. today to get some more information and he said that the scan in Sept. did show those but nothing has changed since then and there is nothing that concerns him.  I asked if there were any other tests I needed and he acted like there was nothing to worry about.

Has anyome ever had anything like this happen?  Has an Onc. Dr. ever found spots on the lung or liver without being concerned about them?  He said they were very small.  Should I be concerned or just wait and have them rechecked?  I have my next labs due April 19th.   If they show the counts are within the normal range, should I feel satisfied I shouldn't "worry" about the spots? 

Thanks for any comments you may have.



tachilders's picture
Posts: 313
Joined: Jun 2012

Stage 4 by definition means that the cancer has spread to other organs and liver and lung are two common places for the cancer to spread to. That being said your onc should have discussed in detail your CT scans with you. Don't feel too bad as many of us have had similar experiences with our oncs not completely sharing all the info they have (me included). 

tachilders's picture
Posts: 313
Joined: Jun 2012

double post

Posts: 753
Joined: Apr 2011

Deena, when did you last have your CEA checked? If you only finished chemo in Sept. I am assuming that is checked (or should be every 2 months or so ?).

It "sounds" like the spots haven't changed at all......if that is really the case, then that is good.

The liver can have cysts, the lungs - all kinds of different things, scar tissue, etc.

Now, i just forgot......did you only do chemo.....no surgery on liver?

I guess the doc is comfortable not doing a PET scan at this time....i don't know if that is right or wrong.....i don't know all the details, just going by what you said here. But, if you haven't had a CEA done in the past couple of months, it seems reasonable to get that done.

Oh, and yes.....my doctor doesn't tell me about everything on the scan.....not even 90%. Most things should be told. I get a copy of the scan report myself, but I like to have some trust in my doctor that they will be totally upfront.

Hope all will be good.

Posts: 199
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi Janie.  I had m CEA checked in January and the Onc. Doc told me everything is within normal range.  My next CEA labs are going to be done April 19th. 

I had a colon resection in January 2012 and had chemo (no radiation).  Nothing to the liver.

The doctor doesn't think a PET scan is necessary (I asked).  The last PET scan I had was in May and it had a lot of "hot spots" on it becasue I was still healing from my colon resection.  For some reason, the doctor doesn't think a PET scan is what I need now.

Thanks for putting my mind at ease about the spots.  I panicked a bit but feel better now.



Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

I have had similar experiences several times over the past 7 years where the doc wasnt too concerned. I have also had 2 recurrences so it seems that an experienced oncologist knows when to be concerned and when not to be concerned.

With that said it is much harder us survivors not to be concerned about every little thing.

Try not to dwell on it too much which I know first hand is easier said than done.

Posts: 199
Joined: Nov 2012

Thanks TAchilders and janderson.  I feel much better after your comments!

I think about my cancer EVERY DAY and this forum is so comforting.  I realize other people are afraid too and I'm thankful I get reassurance from everyone sharing their stories.

Posts: 92
Joined: Sep 2012

I think this is somewhat common with many oncologists. I found out about a 2mm node in my lung after reading my ct report which was posted on an online portal by my GP. I questioned my oncologist about it and he felt it was nothing to worry about as it had remained the same size since previous scans and at this point he nor the radiologist have no idea what it is. I did tell him after this appoint,ent that I wanted full disclosure about what is going on. I have mixed feelings about this. It makes me wonder at each appoint,ent if my oncologist is not telling me something.

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

As others have said, stage 4 by definition involves other organs, but it sounds like in your case it was something other than the liver and/or lungs?  One thing I like is to have my scan reports posted online (or get a paper copy) so I can read them for myself. Sometimes a little confusing, but after you've done it for awhile, you kind of get the hang of interpretation.  And you can always come here to get some input!  Take care~Ann Alexandria

Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5512
Joined: Jan 2013

When I had my first CT scan it showed a cyst on my liver. Both my surgeon, Oncologist and Radiation Oncologist were not worried by the cyst.  My Oncologist said that he would start worrying about it if it disappears after the chemo, then he would know it was cancer and not a cyst.

Still doesn't really stop me worrying that its cancer, but I don't over worry, if that makes sense. Basically if we have cancer, we worry. 

Good luck with everything. 

Posts: 271
Joined: Nov 2011

Stage IV means you had spread to other organs.  

The spots might be too small for a PET to show but I'd be worried and if your insurance will pay, I'd demand a PET.  The smaller things are and the sooner they are removed, the better. IMHO

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