Hey, everyone. So I actually sent Dr. West an email about this, but I'm posting to the forums just to be safe.
My mom is 81, but in good shape and healthy outside of some stomach stuff. Former smoker, but quit 2+ decades ago, even though she would occasionally cheat up until maybe 15 years ago. In fall of 2017 she went in for a resection to remove a 15 mm glass nodule from her right lung (middle lobe) that doctors suspected might be cancer. Unfortunately, the surgeon -- who apparently is one of the most skilled thoracic surgeons in NYC and has done hundreds of these kinds of surgeries -- wasn't able to see the entire nodule and as a result had to remove the entire middle lobe. Biopsy showed that it was indeed cancer, which in a weird way was a relief given that there were doubts about the decision to go under the knife, especially considering the loss of the entire lobe.
Fast forward to February 2019 and a CT scan shows that a tiny solid nodule (3 or 4 mm) on the right upper lobe had jumped to 9 mm. Radiologist recommended 3 month follow up; surgeon advised 6-8 weeks. On the most recent scan, taken last week (so 7 weeks after the Feb one) the nodule was unchanged/still 9 mm. Radiologist suggested 3 month follow up CT scan, but surgeon says the nodule is suspicious and indicated that surgery is definitely on the table, although it's hard to tell what he thinks because he is evasive and almost religious in his refusal to take a stance. Pulmonologist said waiting vs. surgery is a coin flip, but that there's no guarantee the nodule won't get bigger or spread if cancerous and also, even if it stays the same size it won't change the fact that the nodule doubled since July and isn't getting smaller. My mom's primary doc doesn't think it will get smaller and recommended surgery. On top of that, I just spoke to the NP who assisted the surgeon and she inidcated that the surgeon recommended following up with a CT scan in 3 months, even though I kind of got the impression he was pro-surgery. She also suggested that it was unlikely to get worse in only 3 months.
So that's where we are at this point. Also worth noting is the fact that my mom had a terrible cold and cough about two and a half months ago/only a few weeks before that February scan. She's been fine for two months now (her cough got better with antibiotics), but there was some clustering/additional tiny nodules likely related to illness that didn't show up in the most recent (3/26) scan. Unfortunately, the 9 mm nodule was unchanged.
The fact that this solid nodule doubled in size from July 2018 to February 2019 (and has been described as suspicious by the surgeon) makes me feel like it probably needs to come out, but I hate the idea of my healthy/active mom losing MORE lung function and wonder if it makes sense to wait another 3 months before making a decision (my preference). Could a benign nodule jump in size like this over a ~7 month period? Could an infection or inflammation cause the increase, or could it have been a long lasting infection in the first place (but then wouldn't it have decreased from February to now?)? Obviously there are no guarantees with this stuff, but are we taking an unacceptable risk by waiting for 3 more months?
Any advice here would be much appreciated.