Incidental finding

Happy Sunday all. I'm new and trying to figure what is going on with me and an "incidental" finding from February 21, 2020. I have a host of spine issues from cervical to my lower lumbar and sciatic joint. I've been treated by an orthopedic doctor for my cervical spine and lumbar spine issues. In February of this year a cervical ct scan was done. When the scan was read and a report was written on the findings. I went back to my orthopedic doctor and he gave me the information on the report. Which I was already aware of. After numerous injections and pt I'm still not pain free.

Fast forward to November 18, 2020. New orthopedic doctor in Orlando Florida is thumbing through my 112 page medical report from previous orthopedic doctor. He quickly pulls out a specific page. The one from February 21, 2020. Apparently there was one item that wasn't presented to me from the other doctor from the CT report. Which maybe he didn't think that it had any merit in it so no mention of it to me. There is, on my right posterior upper apical lobe a partially imaged nodule. I know that most are benign. However benign wasn't in the report. What was in the report was for patient to follow up with primary doctor. The new doctor made a copy and told me to take that immediately to my primary doctor and have him follow up on. Which I did the next morning. Scheduled my appointment. At my appointment he told me that he is sending scrip to the radiologist for a low dose ct scan with contrast. Since my appointment which was a week ago tomorrow. I'm waiting for the radiologist to call me with my appointment. So since this happened during Thanksgiving week. I have had time to think about the likelihood of it being cancer or not being cancer. Yes, I did a little homework on types lung cancer and benign tumors. High risk, age and gender. (You know prepare for the worst and hope for the best.) I don't know a lot about cancer or how one day nothing is seen on any images then "poof" there is this thing right there where previous images were void of anything to be concerned with.  Just wanted to see if anyone else had their cancer diagnosed this way or if it was being monitored and testing confirmed in fact it was cancer. Or it did turn out benign after all.  Any thoughts, or comments is greatly appreciated. I do hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

2016harleystreetglide (Debbie)

JanineT GRACE …
Posts: 613
GRACE Community Outreach Team

Hi Debbie,


Welcome to Grace.  I'm sorry you're in this scare.  You're right most often nodules turn out to be benign but you have to move through the process which goes a little bit like this:

Get a good look at it with a CT.  You're doing that.  BTW, the wait is the hardest part.

the CT may show something so small or have a certain appearance that your doctor will want to watch it with another CT in 3 or so months.  If it doesn't do anything your doctor may want to watch it for another time to make sure.  Those no real standard here.

If it looks like it could be cancer a biopsy would be taken or possibly surgically removed it depends.

You won't know if there's cancer until you get a biopsy under a microscope to know for sure.  There are plenty of times when a doctor even the most experienced radiologists and oncologists will swear something on a CT it cancer but ends up not.


It is pretty typical to find lung nodules incidentally because there are a lot of reasons to get a look at the lungs when pointing at something else.  Most of the time it's benign.  But this is the way a lot of lung cancers are found early because you normally don't get symptoms until it's a much bigger problem.   


I hope it turns out to be nothing, which is much much more often the case. 

Keep us posted,


I joined GRACE as a caregiver for my husband who had a Pancoast tumor, NSCLC stage III in 2009. He had curative chemo/rads then it was believed he had a recurrence in the spine/oligometastasis that was radiated. He's 10 years out from treatment.