Multiple Nodules That Have Increased in Size & Density

Portal Forums Lung/Thoracic Cancer Work-Up/Staging of Lung Cancer Multiple Nodules That Have Increased in Size & Density

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January 10, 2017 at 9:51 am  #1289748    


Back in late October of this past year, I had a chest ct w/o contrast (as I’m allergic to the contrast) that showed 2 ground-glass nodules in my right lung. The upper nodule measured 5 mm, while the lower one (by my diaphragm) measured 3 mm. I was advised to follow up with my pulmonologist. He said it was nothing concerning, but that he would order another CT if it would make me feel better. On Nov. 26, another ct w/o contrast showed that the upper nodule had grown to 7 mm, while the lower one had increased to 13 mm.

This time the physician who read the radiologist’s report, before sending it back to my Pulmonologist, suggested that this be investigated as there was a clear change in the sizes. Again he said it was nothing concerning as in the report it said “as previously noted”, which he interpreted to mean that it hadn’t grown, since his copy of the report conveniently left out the physician’s recommendation. My GP must have thought it was concerning, because just a few short weeks later he ordered his own CT (w/ contrast this time), and on Dec. 12, that CT showed the upper nodule steady at 7 mm, while the lower one had grown to 23 mm.

The recommendation from the physician was to “again” have this investigated as now it had not only increased in size, but also had density to it. I keep getting asked if I ever smoked, and I’ve told them yes, for 2 1/2 years @ a 1/2 pack a day before quitting in 2013.

My question after all that is what does it mean when a nodule grows that quickly and density to it?

January 10, 2017 at 11:40 am  #1289751    
catdander forum moderator
catdander forum moderator

Hi Edna, Welcome to Grace.

I’m sorry you’re not getting consistent info from your doctors. A growing nodule is absolutely something that needs further investigation. It could be an infection or inflammation or it could be cancer. If it is growing it needs attention. A pulmonologist or general physician is able to order necessary next steps. What that is should be up to the investigating team. It may be that you have an infection. If so antibiotics may help and could show shrinking of the nodule (cancer doesn’t shrink with antibiotics so that would rule out cancer). A biopsy is more invasive though your care team may want to move forward with one first. These types of decisions need to be made by those closely involved and have all the information (you can help make sure they have all the information). Since pulmonologists are most qualified to make these determinations you or your general physician should be able to contact your pulmonologist to ask that he/she view the scans and/or speak with the radiologist/s who interpreted the scans and wrote the scan reports.

Smoking history plays a role in most lung cancers however a significant amount of lung cancers are found in those who never smoked. A biopsy is the only way to know if something is cancer. Pulmonologists and oncologists are often surprised to find something they thought to be cancer isn’t cancer when looked at under a microscope. You are taking your health into your own hands and that is the most important step anyone can make. Good for you and good luck. I hope the nodule/s aren’t cancer and are taken care of with no further problems.

All best,

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