11mm NonCalcified Nodule on Right Lung, 12mm NonCalcified Nodule on Left Lung - 1268240

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11mm NonCalcified Nodule on Right Lung, 12mm NonCalcified Nodule on Left Lung - 1268240

My mom was recently sick in the middle of December with pneumonia, bronchitis and then it turned into a sinus infection.She feels better but still has a terrible cough but has always from as far as I can remember had a cough her whole life.During all of this sickness, she got an XRay which showed she had a nodule on each lung which then made her PCP get a CT which showed a Lobulated NonCalcified 12mm by 8mm Lingular Nodule on her left midlung and on her right medial lung base adjacent to the esophagus is several tiny nodules measuring less then 3mm with an 11mm by 10 mm NonCalcified Nodule.There was no evidence of adenopathy or intestinal lung diesease and no classic findings of sarcoidosis.The radiologist stated that these may be due to a granulomatous disease but I don't find promising information comparing this situation to a granulomatous disease.When she met with a thoracic surgeon he immediately said that this could be stage 4 lung cancer with a 10% chance that it could be a fungal infection and we have been a wreck ever since.He also said he didn't want us to worry about this all in the same sentence it seemed like.He said he didn't see anything else on her scan for worry & Lymph nodes were good.A pet scan was done 6 days ago and we haven't heard the results yet.Her appointment is still a week and a half away.I feel like they would've called by now with bad news.My maternal grandfather had alot of fungal infections in his lungs and was on antibiotics for years.She hasn't lost any weight, isn't coughing up blood and still has her normal appetite. COULD this be an infection of some sort or that it showed up on her scan because she was right in the middle of an infection, or am I getting my hopes up with thinking that it doesn't necessarily mean stage 4 lung cancer? I can't stop thinking about this and thinking about how I don't want to lose my mom. I need some hope but everything I read online says lung cancer. Could this just be infection of some sort?

Dr West
Yes. Imaging is not

Yes. Imaging is not definitive, and a biopsy is absolutely required before making a definitive diagnosis. There are many people who have had suspicious scans, sometimes extremely so, that ultimately turn out to be infection or an inflammatory condition.

Good luck.

-Dr. West

Dr. Howard (Jack) West
Associate Clinical Professor
Medical Oncology
City of Hope Cancer Center
Duarte, CA

Founder & President
Global Resource for Advancing
Cancer Education

Thank you so much Dr. West! I

Thank you so much Dr. West! I just needed that encouragement for now. Trying to fully prepare myself for the worst case scenario but hopeful alittle now too. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly!! I will post on here once we get more answers. Regardless of the PET scan, my mom wants to do a biopsy to know for sure what is going on. I say many prayers and around my mom, keep a positive attitude. I appreciate your response!! :)

We received the PET-CT

We received the PET-CT Results when my mom ended up in ER the other day. The ER physician said that the PET showed no uptake at the lung nodules and the CT that she had while she was there showed no change in the nodules either. There showed some uptake on her ribs and some uptake on her Liver, but the radiologist wasn't concerned for those and my mom has always had a central scar on her liver with a fatty liver. I keep thinking that maybe her ribs are fractured from how violently she coughs and she said her back hurts so bad when she coughs because she has been doing this for so long now. We were encouraged with the no uptake at her lung nodules, so much so that we all started thinking that this wasn't cancer until I started reading more about PET scans and BAC. For a whole day, I was ecstatic at the outcome of the PET and now am back to doom and gloom. I read that BAC is usually not found on PET and all I keep thinking about is that her cough is so bad, she isn't getting better, her back hurts (she says from coughing so so much), there was uptake on her ribs...My mind keeps saying that she had a good PET but it's probably BAC stage 4 and already traveled to her bones in her back. She has a broncoscopy next week but from what I read with that, they often are negative for BAC as well. Is it true that even now, BAC is still undetected on a PET scan? And, will ribs light up if they are fractured from her coughing? Everyone in my family is so encouraged with the PET scan but my mom is still coughing like crazy that there is something going on and I'm now so extremely nervous that it could still be cancer.

Hi lindsi30,

Hi lindsi30,

As Dr. West said, imaging does not tell the whole story and its easy to imagine the worst when you don't have all the information yet. PET scans can detect inflammation, which certainly could be present in the case of a bone fracture.

As far as BAC showing up on a PET scan, it's not that it doesn't but it just isn't detected as reliably. As Dr. West wrote in his post on PET Scan in BAC:

"Overall, the results do suggest that while BAC can sometimes be identified on a PET scan, these cancers are disproportionately over-represented among the lung cancers that remain PET negative. Because of this, negative PET scan results should not be interpreted as ruling out cancer in people with CT findings suggestive of a BAC picture. Instead, this is a setting where we can’t be reassured and need additional studies, potentially follow-up imaging or a biopsy, to clarify what’s going on."
- http://cancergrace.org/lung/2007/10/20/pet-scans-for-bac/

I wish I could tell you that this is not cancer, but for now you will need to continue the workup, including a biopsy, in order to get answers.

Good luck getting an answer that doesn't include cancer in the diagnosis.

Forum moderator

<p>I began visiting GRACE in July, 2008 when my wife Liz was diagnosed with lung cancer, and became a forum moderator in January, 2010. My beloved wife of 30 years passed away Nov. 4, 2011 after battling stage IV lung cancer for 3 years and 4 months</p>