New 3mm nodule after eight years

Portal Forums Lung/Thoracic Cancer Cancer Basics Survivorship and Follow-up New 3mm nodule after eight years

This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by catdander forum moderator catdander forum moderator 2 years, 7 months ago.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
Author Posts   
Author Posts
April 19, 2013 at 1:52 pm  #1255799    

carolhg

I had an upper right lobectomy eight years ago for stage 3A lung cancer. No cancer was found in the 20 lymphnodes that were removed. I had adjuvant chemo. All of my scans have been clear until yesterday. Yesterday a 3mm nodule was found on my left upper lobe. CT Report said that metastasis cannot be excluded due to lung cancer history. I have heard that nodules can appear and then disappear. Could it be possible that this is not cancer? Thank you for taking the time to respond to my concern.
Carol

April 19, 2013 at 1:56 pm  #1255801    
Dr West
Dr West

Absolutely yes. Very small nodules, and something under 4-5 mm would qualify as that, may be very non-specific and would be considered worrisome if growing and/or if accompanied by new nodules on a subsequent scan. The chance that this is the same cancer recurring 8 years later is very, very low, but someone with a prior cancer has a greater chance of a new cancer than someone who never had lung cancer diagnosed, so a good reason to continue and follow patients many years out from diagnosis and last treatment is to check for any new lung cancers. If one were to develop, much better to find it as a tiny, isolated nodule with an excellent prognosis.

But at this point, a 3mm nodule is very nonspecific and not convincing for cancer.

Good luck.

-Dr. West

April 20, 2013 at 6:25 am  #1255810    

carolhg

Thank you for your prompt reply Dr. West. I had been coughing for several weeks and many times coughing up phlegm. Sometimes I could hear the congestion in my chest. I also had episodes of upper back pain that came and went and now seems to be gone. The coughing has also subsided. My question is does a nodule cause the above kind of symptoms as it forms? I ask this because I coughed up phelgm and had chest not back pain before I was diagnosed with my cancer in 2005, which showed a 2.7 nodule on my upper right lung. My surgery (upper right lobectomy) for 3A adenocarcinoma was in 2005 and I had clean margins and the 20 lymph nodes that were removed had no cancer. Before surgery I had 6 weeks of daily radiation and weekly chemo (carboplatinum/taxol). After surgery I had two rounds of the same chemo at a stronger dose. I have had clear CT scans and a CT/PET scan since my surgery until this last CT Scan on April 17th, which showed this 3mm nodule on my upper left lung. Do nodules really appear and then disappear? Some people call them artifacts, what are artifacts? I apologize for rambling, I am just so scared! I came to this site 8 years ago after I had surgery and after. I am here for advice an information again, and I do appreciate and thank you.

Carol

April 20, 2013 at 8:47 am  #1255816    
Dr West
Dr West

It is exceptionally unlikely that a 3 mm nodule would cause any symptoms. That’s really too small.

Yes, nodules can appear and then disappear, if they’re a product of a small area of infection or inflammation.

An artifactual (or artefactual) finding is one that is the product of error and inaccuracy, not a true result.

Good luck.

-Dr. West

January 7, 2016 at 9:29 am  #1272468    

justinb

Good Morning Carol or Dr. West,

My mother is in the same boat almost exactly the differnece is it has been 9 years since her surgery. All chest xrays and ct scans have been clear up until December 2015 when she went for a CT scan. They found a 3mm nodule on her left lung. She and her doctor don’t seem to be all that worried but I and terrified. They have asked her to come back for another CT scan in 3 months. any thoughts to ease my mind?

January 7, 2016 at 2:47 pm  #1272474    
catdander forum moderator
catdander forum moderator

Hi Justinb. It’s very likely not cancer and the best way to find out is to see if it grows in a 3 month interval. So while waiting is so difficult it is the best way to handle it. I’m glad your mother is moving forward holding her nerve. I’m sure you can as well.

All best of luck,
Janine

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.