Diagnosed with colon cancer Nov. 2016. Excellent response to chemo, radiation with no signs of tumor remaining. Opted to have colon resection, which was a good choice since cancer cells were found in pathology, as well as one lymph node. Went for a follow up colonoscopy this week (all clear, looked excellent) and CT scan. CT scan showed 6mm spot on lung. Oncologist said she wants to repeat scan in 2 months to see if any change. It was not there on last years scan. (There is a 4mm spot that has been there since beginning, with no change. Said can be from previous infection.) So this may be something from a newer infection in last year as well, or it could be spreading of the cancer. Very stressed about the possibility of the cancer having spread. Not sure what the chances are of it being nothing vs. something. I should have asked but was in shock. Any experience with this would be appreciated.
Fri, 06/08/2018 - 21:23
My mother had colon cancer, but that was many years ago when treatments were much less advanced than they are now.
It's great that you had an excellent response to treatment, your colonoscopy was clear and your ct scan all clear except for a new small 6mm nodule in the lung. It is too small to biopsy so waiting 2 months to scan again as your doctor recommends makes sense and is also soon enough to catch it if it starts to grow. It's understandable to be worried about it but remember it is not cancer until proven and may very well be innocuous.
Even in the worst case if it is a met, lung mets from colon cancer are often operated on and people typically have good survival afterward, especially in the absence of any other risk factors like elevated CEA levels, a history of previous metastases or lymph node involvement.
See for instance:
Prognosis of video-assisted thoracoscopic pulmonary
metastasectomy in patients with colorectal cancer lung
metastases: an analysis of 154 cases
Unfortunately at this time there is a lack of non-invasive tests to catch cancer with certainty so the only realistic option for a small nodule is to wait and see. Most of us with a history of cancer encounter this situation eventually if not constantly and it is a cause of worry for many patients.
I also have lung nodules that are being watched after lung cancer treatment. Worrying doesn't help but I find myself doing it anyway especially around scan time.
I hope you get good news at your next scan.
Sat, 06/09/2018 - 08:51
I don't have anything about lung mets to add to onthemark's excellent comments. I do want you to know that an infection is very possible the reason for the 4mm spot found. It's pretty common for someone to have a lung infection that heals on it's own without ever having symptoms. Scary case in point my brother in law was diagnosed and treated for colon cancer last november/december. At that time there was found a sub cm nodule on his lung. It was watched until it was completely gone 3 months later. Of course there was worry that it was cancer and massive relief when it wasn't.
I hope the nodule goes away or stays the same in the next scan.
Sat, 06/09/2018 - 16:24
Thanks so much for your reply. It is always reassuring to hear someone else had the positive response that I am hoping for. My friend reminded me that I had two bad colds in the last year, so maybe one of those infections is to blame. I hope your brother-in-law is doing well!
Sat, 06/09/2018 - 16:29
Thank you so much for your helpful reply. It is reassuring to hear that what my doctor suggested makes sense to others. Also reassuring to see the positive information even if there is a met. Even if it is, hopefully this is all manageable.
Wishing you all the best with the nodules that are being watched for you as well. It is hard not to worry, but we need to strike a balance. I hope you are feeling well after your treatment.
Thank you again for the useful information!