4mm Ground Glass Nodule - 1270723

Thu, 08/06/2015 - 15:14

Hi I am a 45 year old female who has smoked about a pack of cigarettes a day for 29 years. My yearly CT scan showed a 4mm ground glass nodule that was new. Its in upper left lobe. Last year the scan said I had signs of early COPD. My Mom passed away in 1995 of Mesothelioma. Contracted from my Dad. My big Sister was diagnosed 2 years ago with small cell lung Cancer. With our background should I be worried about finding? What would your opinion be for treatment?

Thank you

Revision log message
Created by FeedsNodeProcessor


Hi tahoe157,

Welcome to GRACE. Although I am certain your family history concerns you, most lung cancer is caused by environmental factors such as smoking or radon gas. At just 4mm, your nodule would not be a candidate for a biopsy, so most often such nodules are followed closely with scans to see if they are growing over time, an indication that they may represent cancer.

Here are some previous posts that may provide you with useful information:


Good luck with the follow-up on your scan findings.

Forum moderator


Thanks for your response. I don't want to just watch it if its a possibility of being cancer. I'd rather just have it removed then let it possibly grow. I know you say its just 4mm...but its scary to me as I've taken care of my Mom who took her last breath in my arms & also have helped taken care of my only sister for the past 2 years. I have an appointment with her surgeon on Tuesday so I'll be curious to what he suggest I do.....


I can understand your concerns, and I hope that you have a good meeting with the surgeon. Since surgeons specialize only in surgery, if you haven't already done so you might also consider an appointment with a pulmonologist, with whom you can discuss all the possibilities.

Good luck.

Forum moderator


Meso and SCLC are not inherited cancers. My mother had SC and I was diagnosed with NSC a year after she passed. I have other nodules in my lungs that are not cancerous and would never have surgery without a confirmed cancer diagnosis. Just so you know, waiting 3 more months to see if it grows would be the smart thing to do. Surgeons will operate just for the sake of doing so and you don't want that lung loss if you don't need it. That is so small I'm surprised they even mentioned it.
Take care, Judy


Thanks for speaking up Judy and since you did I'll say that not only will the lung loss be much more missed than having a tiny nodule in the lung (which most people do) a thoracotomy is one of the most invasive surgeries done today. Post thoracotomy syndrome is unusual but can leave a person with a lot of nerve damage.

Tahoe, I think Jim's idea about seeing a pulmonologist is a good one.

I hope all is benign.



Jim, thanks for info. I do have a appointment to see pulmonary doctor but everyone of them were booked or only could get me in the end of this month. So I see one the 29th. My sister's surgeon could get me in asap sotthat's why him first.

Judy I know it isn't inherited... But my Mom is the reason we all 3 kids were told to get our lungs scanned every year. I as a baby was being held by my Dad when he would come home from work building a power plant with asbestos on his clothes. After taking care of my Mom and sister with lung Cancer I'm well aware of side effects of all surgeries and procedures. I didn't say I was getting it cut out asap. Of course I'd want to wait at least 3-6 months and see if it grows...but no longer!

Janine thanks he is definitely right I will. I'm sorry about everyone and their loved ones. Hope they beat this HORRENDOUS disease!


Update saw surgeon today. He said that it was to early for biopsy, surgery, or to tell if it was cancer. He could say positively that it isn't small cell like my Sis. He recommend that I get another CT in 3 months and come back to see him. He also said no need to see pulmonary doctor right now nothing they could do. So I am taking this as great news and hopefully it will be gone in 3 months. If not we will go from there.


Hi tahoe157, I just read your post and 1st I am so sorry about your mom and your sister. I was wondering how you are doing? That’s great news your surgeon is positive it is not small cell.

I went to the hospital for chest pain and it turns out they found I have a 7mm right lower lobe ground glass nodule. They say it wasn't causing my pain but the nodule needs to be looked into. I do not smoke but have been living in high Radon levels in the range of 37 pci for 18 years. I never knew until we had an inspection to sell our home and I was shocked to find out. My whole family is at risk now and we all will have to be screened and kept a close eye on for lung cancer.

I am really worried about this nodule they found on me and need immediate answers to take action so it doesn't take over my life.

You and I think the same. I too will not wait for doctors to just watch and see what happens, cancer can spread more during those watching times. I have 2 little ones that need me and I can not take any chances. The specialize doctors can take a month for an appointment or MONTHS! who has time for that when it could be real cancer and needs to be immediately dealt with or it can take over our bodies. I immediately made an appt with the best surgeon to get answers and to let him tell me not to worry or watch me in the least amount of time that they need to make a surgery decision.

It’s the surgeons and cancer teams that see this day in and day out and know what to exactly look for in scans and symptoms and will explain every detail in the scans. Also the cancer hospital units will watch and give detail advice even if not determine if cancer yet.

I plan on the surgeon or the cancer unit to watch me. I will start with the surgeon and see what other test he wants and suggest I do.

I am so afraid.