2 MM nodule found - how to address anxiety during the wait period - 1248825

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2 MM nodule found - how to address anxiety during the wait period - 1248825


I just discovered your forum and I must say that it is very informative. In Feb of this year I was moved from the ER to the hospital due to possible cardiac concerns. The Doc's did a cardiac CT and a chest CT. The cardiac was normal, the chest CT showed a calcified granuloma. After talking to my MD and reviewing I was ok. Recently during a follow up with my MD, I asked if/when we should do a follow up. So I had the follow up and the granuloma was stable however they found a 2 MM nodule in the lateral wall deep in the left costophrenic angle ( not sure what that means, forgot to ask the doc). Talked to my MD and he said 2 MM is small, we should not ignore, but follow up in 6 mos. being the forward thinking person I am, I got my previous CT from the hospital to have the lab review to see if the new nodule is there, should know tomorrow.

So my question is two fold - 1) how do you address the anxiety that comes with waiting. My wife says I look like dead man walking. I have gone to my dark place the last few days. I just want to curl up in the fetal position. I am totally shut down. Although I am a little better today, over the weekend I had to go to a social event and people said I looked uptight.

The second part is is it possible to have missed the 2 MM on the first scan ? And if it wasnt there, that means it is new, should I be really worried ?

Appreciate your thoughts.


Reply To: 2 MM nodule found – how to address anxiety during the

Hi Ted,

I'm sorry to hear about the anxiety that your CT results are causing you. In the cancer community it is often called "scanxiety". But you should listen to your doctor - a 2 mm nodule is very small, and many people who do not have cancer have them. There have been a number of GRACE members who have posted stories just like yours, and after a biopsy or follow-up they have discovered they do not have cancer. And it is possible to miss a 2mm nodule, since the "slices" captured by the CT are often at 1mm intervals, and it can be difficult to see something as small as 2mm. You can read about the evaluation and management of pulmonary nodules here: http://cancergrace.org/lung/files/2011/12/dr-yankelevitz-pulm-nodules-ev...

And here is a post on scanxiety: http://cancergrace.org/coping-with-cancer/2008/05/27/scanxiety/

I hope you can find a way to ease your anxiety, and that your follow-up results are good.

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>

Dr West
Reply To: 2 MM nodule found – how to address anxiety during the

I think the most important thing to do is to follow Jim's advice and learn more. As you do, you should appreciate that these incredibly small nodules are very common and are actually very unlikely to represent cancer: the smaller they are, the less likely they are to be anything significant at all.

I hope that this knowledge is a good medicine for anxiety.

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

Reply To: 2 MM nodule found – how to address anxiety during the


Thanks for the reply. That was helpful. Especially the part where
It was stated that if everyone in the room was scanned they would most
Likely have a nodule. Interesting indeed. I can see with the degree
of specificity of imaging equipment a lot of things get picked up that
otherwise wouldn't.

I am going to try and " chill " and stay in the moment. Focusing on the negative
takes away from what is important in life.

Thanks again.


Reply To: 2 MM nodule found – how to address anxiety during the

Dr west

Thank you for the reply.