Nodule concern


I’m a 40yr old female with a smoking history of 20+ years. I have chronic brown phlegm (for years) with little to no coughing. I had a chest X-ray in Sept 2016 that read:

On the frontal view at the left costophrenic angle there is a 6 x 8 millimeter nonspecific density projecting over the lateral aspect of the left hemidiaphragm. This could be related to the overlying rib but could also represent a pulmonary nodule.

Follow up CT a week later from a different povider ordered by my pulminologist that read stable nodules from 2014 no new nodules seen.

Chest X-ray (for Bronchitis) Dec 2017: Findings were no acute chest disease

So my questions/concern are:

For about the last year I’ve had chronic left lateral pain that extends under my breast and extends around to my back and radiates into my shoulder, I’m haunted by the original X-ray (Sept 2016) of a possible new nodule and afraid that’s what causing my pain.

~If that was a new nodule wouldn’t the CT pick that up, or the other X-ray taken?
~What does overlying rib mean?

I should note that I can pinpoint an exact spot on my side on my rib cage that hurts, but it feels under my ribs as it’s not sensitive to touch. I also have a lipoma near by that can be felt. Not sure if any of this is relevant.

Thank you!


Posts: 3

test test test


Hi aprilbaby,

Welcome to Grace. I’m sorry you’re having this scare. We’re not able to comment on your scan reports but your doctor should be able to do that with you.

An xray and a CT scan are very different. Comparing an xray to a ct would be like comparing a model T ford with a ford mustang. So comparing an xray to a ct isn’t very meaningful unless an xray picks something up you might have a ct to get a better look. Looking at the ct scans from different dates will provide a steady look at what’s going on in the lungs.

Most smokers have small nodules in the lungs that don’t cause symptoms or problems and they stay pretty stable over time.

A chest CT would pick up a lung nodule that is causing pain as a matter of fact it’s likely even an xray would pick up a lung nodule large enough to cause pain. Also it’s very unlikely that pain that has lasted a year could be cancer. Once lung cancer causes pain it’s usually pretty large and would probably be fatal within that year without anti cancer treatment or at least it would become much much more painful.

I hope you find the cure for your pain.
All best,

In reply to by catdander

Posts: 6

Thank you Janine for your quick response, you have helped me ease my mind a bit. I will continue figuring out this pain along with trying to quit smoking as I pry for every night.