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Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Message Board

Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Board Index

Re: Lung Nodule
Apr 4, 2014
Hi Laurie :-)

I do agree that you really should have a second lung CT scan to check out that nodule, but doubt there's anything to it. I had occasion to do some extensive research on the subject, and here are some of my conclusions.

First, a single nodule is far less likely to be malignant or turn from benign to malignant than numerous nodules. Second, the size of the nodule is an important indicator of the chance of malignancy. The smaller the better, and at 3mm your nodule probably would have been missed altogether in the old days when x-rays were the only diagnostic tool available for peeking inside the lungs.

According to some of the articles I've read, the presence of lung nodules is far more common than thought back in the x-ray days. Lots of folks walking around with them with no effects at all for a full lifetime. It's the arrival of CT scans and MRIs that has made the docs aware of the prevalence of them, and some think that they may overreacting and "overdiagnosing" as a result. In some extreme cases, a few docs were ordering "open chest" biopsies! That's since been stopped.

Anyway, by all means have a second chest CT done to see what's going on with that single nodule, but I seriously doubt anything will come of it. The odds are all on your side.

For what it's worth, my own "nodule" story: last summer I had a chest CT scan done for another purpose, and it "accidentally" showed 5 nodules, ranging in size from 2mm to 8mm. With that many nodules and one or them at 8mm (anything over 10mm would probably be called a "mass", which is real reason for concern), my PC doc set me up for another CT 3 months down the road. Needless to say, that was a nervous 90 days!

But the second scan showed no change in shape, color or size, and two of the nodules had "resolved" (i.e., disappeared altogether). My PC doc initially suggested another scan 6 months later, but when I expressed concern about so much radiation in such a short span of time, he immediately agreed and set me up for just an annual CT exam.

So, I'm not a doc, but I say "Don't worry, be happy" (but do get that follow-up CT, just to be sure).


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