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This is my first post. Last week I had a Cat scan and was told I have a small nodule (2x2cm) in my lower right lung. Dr then sent me for a PET SCAN. Haven't received the results yet and am very scared and can't even think straight. Of course I am thinking the very worst. Can anyone tell me what to expect next?? I am a 58 year old male smoker for many years but when I read the symptoms of Lung Cancer I have none of them, i.e no shortness of breath, no chest pains, no coughing up blood, etc. which gives me a little hope.

Thanks in advance


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Welcome. I hope as most nodules that yours is not cancer. If it is OK to ask, what made you get a CT? As a smoker or anyone with lung cancer in the family I think it would be great if there was a screening test for lung cancer because in the majority of people there are no early symptoms of having it. Many more would survive if it were diagnosed in the early stages. PLease let us know how your test results come out. Donna G

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wfs, Welcome. There are many knowing and caring people here.Hopefully this will turn out to be nothing.Not knowing is the worst part.Right now it seems your doing the right things.(get required tests and find out where you stand,then you and drs. can get a plan of treatment or HOPEFULLY BE OK AND NOT NEED ANYTHING.Good luck with scans and please keep us updated.

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Welcome, wfs.

I am hoping that this will be the only time that we see you here on this board, if you get my drift. If we do see you again, of course, you would be very very welcomed and we, as a group, would be able to help you along.

Many nodules turn up negative. But, it sounds like the prudent thing to do in your instance to follow up with a PET.

We are very "lucky" to be living in a time when so many good breakthroughs as far as treatment for lc is concerned. There are many new surgical techniques, radiation and chemo that are advancing at a great pace.

This waiting and wondering state that you are in is really frightening. I remember. It is just as bad to not know as know....maybe even worse. There are some pharmaceuticals that are out there that are designed for just these kinds of instances. Your doc may be able to hook you up with something to get over this rough spot. There are times now when I just know that it is just crazy to put my mind and my body through this emotional stress.

Good luck. Very good luck to you.

Cindi o'h

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Thanks all for the quick responses. The waiting is driving me crazy. I should have the results by Friday. I recently changed doctors and the new one just sent me for all kinds of tests, blood sugar, colomostpy, ct etc, etc.

What do you all do to keep your sanity?????

Is there a difference between nodule and tumor??

I will keep you posted on my results,

Thanks again

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well 2 cm isn't that big but not so small either. they can measure down to millimeters. nodule many times refers to a lympt node. perhaps it also refers to an area of unknown type.

depending on what the tests show and where the nodule is, they may want to do a needle biopsy to get a piece and examine it under a microscope to see what it is. sometimes this is difficult because the area is too close to the heart or other organs as it was in the case of my lower tumor. but in my case they could get to an upper tumor so it wasn't so much of an issue.

sanity is in the mind or the operator! all our problems seem to stem to unpleasant feelings. but we catagorize these unpleasant feelings and they have little to do with what seems like outside events. things that we characterize as negative are not inherently so.

for example, i doubt lance armstrong would have won his races as he has if he hadn't had cancer and gotten extra motivation. so was his cancer good or bad? i should think neither. his mind transformed.

hope you can find this in your way. and welcome to this list.


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I think that I may have read somewhere the difference between a tumor and a nodule. The difference is size. A tumor many be malignant or benign as a nodule may be malignant or benign. I think it was 3 cm that will turn a nodule to a tumor or mass.

How do we cope? We all have our different skills. I turn to friends to let loose or I scream at a poor unsuspecting stranger! It is always much more rewarding when they fight back, of course. :lol:

What got me through the initial shock was going to my safe place...zoned out. I was in the hospital so I think they may have been giving me something to take the edge off. After that, I was just glad that I had faith in God and trusted Him with my life and that whatever happened...happened. I showed up for my appointments and I did the leg work, but it was He who I relied on for my day to breathe or not to breathe. As it is today. I call this "let go and let God" ....you may have heard that one before.

Deep breathing...meditation. Prayer. Asking for prayers. Friends. A movie with buttered popcorn and milk duds. Xanax or ativan... whatever it takes. You are not alone in this and what you are feeling is very normal and common.

Best to you, dear.

cindi o'h

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Thanks so much for your words of wisdom. I am also a recovering alcoholic for 17 years now so I am well aware of the "Let go and Let GOD" phrase. And actually I took a Xanex last night...My wife was perscribed them, and it was the first full nights sleep I've had since learning about this over a week ago. I also had a stent in 1997 and was a wreck then wondering if I would survive. So this isn't the first time I have gone through a tramatic experience but it doesn't get any easier. Thanks again to you and the others who have posted the information. I will definately keep in touch with this board.

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Hi and welcome----can I ask why your Dr. sent you for a cat scan in the first place? Did something show up in an x-ray?

I am not sure if everyone had this protocol---but a pleural thickening showed up in an x-ray (no symptoms---my Dr. just knew about my smoking.) After my CAT scan clearly showed a "lesion" or something, they then did a needle biopsy , which turned out Positive for me---They then did a series of tests, head & bone scans to make sure it had not travelled. (It hadn't-), I then met with the surgeon with all of my records and was operated on within two weeks. They first do a sampling of your lymph nodes, before they continue the operation.

I must admit, in the beginning, I thought I was a goner---since I never did research. Once I did my research, I then realized it was not the death sentence that I thought it was.

Hopefully your results will turn out good---but remember, even if it is cancer, there are many long term survivors here.


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I recently changed Dr's and being a 58 year old male he just sent me for all the normal tests one my age should have. i.e. blood work, glucose, catscan, colonostpy, etc. I am somwhat niave as to the meanings of the various abbreviations I have seen like nsclc and others??

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Right, Ry.

Two major types of lung cancer are Non small cell lung cancer

and small cell lung cancer.

They are treated a little differently from one another. And they have different characteristics.

You would not be able to tell what kind of cancer you may have without a biopsy of some kind... hopefully, it will not come to that. Let's just take it one step at a time and see what this PET shows before we start to plan the funeral. Okay? :wink:

Cindi o'h

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Hello WFS: I guess you are still patiently waiting for your PET scan results. I see that you have been getting good advice in the previous posts.

I have been dealing with a possible recurrence. I got some lexapro to help me through it. it is an anti-anxiety med. I am sure Xanax is just fine too. I believe it has helped me. I also learn all I can about my disease and what the possible treatments are. When you go in for your consultation about the PET scan, take someone with you who can help you remember stuff. You might even want to take notes.

Of course, if the node shows no uptake, then you are probably off the hook. They would probably monitor it after that.

Another way that I cope, is to let it unfold. It is a kind of surrendering similar to what you refer to in AA and like putting the situation in God's hands. Same idea. I am not particularly religious, but I value all spiritual traditions. And I believe in the power of prayer.

Don M

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Hi wfs,

I just want to welcome you and let you know that there are many caring people here. We hope you won't be needing this board, but if you do, it's a wonderful place to come. Waiting on test results is hard, very hard. For now I would just like to offer my prayers that this is nothing , but if it does turn out to be something you will find information, compassion and hope here. My best to you. Let us know the results.


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Welcome and sorry you are here. Read my bio below................I am one of those on the board who goes completely crazy around test times and doctor appts. I fall apart and go insane. I come here and everyone calms me down. During my recent waiting time and diagnosis I started taking Xanax.

If you are still climbing the walls tomorrow and can't think straight, don't be ashamed to ask for help. Call your doctor's Nurse and talk to her and just explain that you are going crazy.

Hang in there and keep us posted!!!!

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Just a quick FYI: You don't need to display symptoms to have LC. If you are not displaying symptoms and it turns out you DO have LC, your new doctor has probably caught it pretty early. I had no symptoms, my tumor was about 2.5 cm - smaller than the first knuckle of my husband's thumb. Small thing for causing so many problems and worries and nightmares and fears...

Talk to your doctor about your anxiety, you really shouldn't take someone else's prescription medication.

Don't jump to conclusions, really could be nothing, after all. Hope so.

Take care and welcome,


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Welcome and I am sorry as well that you had to come here.

I knew just what I was going to say as I was reading the posts of others and then Becky said it best.

To add to that I have several nodules that are nothing and many people do. I was observed for several months and when they did find that I had a tumor it did not resemble the nodules and was growing.

I was extremely fortunate that I was being watched at the time to see what was going on with the nodules.

I had absolutley no symptoms.

Best of luck with your PET results. My surgeon absolutely hates PET scans and my pulmonary physician loves them. My first PET was perfectly correct that my nodules were just nodules, my second PET ended up indeterminate for the tumor being cancer.

At my checkup with my surgeon on the 8th of this month he showed me the pathology report for a few of the nodules that were removed by my surgeon during my wedge resection for further testing. They reported them as Aspergillius a type of fungal infection. That can be introduced into your lungs by anyone at any time.

Hang in there and let us know your results . The waiting is the worst.


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Welcome WF, My husband { also a former smoker } is a example that

a nodule is not always cancer. Last April after having a mass on his neck

larger than a baseball I finaly got him to go to the doctors. The first

doctors { clinic doctors } believed the mass to be solid and a good

chance of being cancer. This led to a cat scan which found a nodule in

his upper lung. We then met my angel a surgeon at Miami Valley hospital

He knew right away the neck mass was not solid and drained containers

full of infection from my husbands neck. He also felt the nodule was

related to the neck and also infection { fungus from working out doors}.

He was 100% right and after 2 very strong coarses of antibiotics the

nodule was gone.

Wishing you all the best of luck and please keep us updated. Haylee

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Thanks again to everyone responding. Received a call late yesterday for my appointment with the Pulmunary Dr. on Tuesday of next week. This is pure agony...the waiting. Very difficult to even work.. Cannot concentrate on anything but this problem. The xanex really help me sleep though. Last two nights slept very good although first thing in the morning the thoughts are back in my head. Thanks all for your help and support.

Bill in Pennsylvania

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When I was first told I might have lung cancer, I too was terrified, I thought that if I had cancer, it would be a death sentence. That is not necessarily the case as the others have said. So just remember, no matter how scared you get, that this is doable, there are people living with lung cancer. Try to stay focused on the fact that you are going forward now and just keep one foot in front of the other.

I also am a recovering alcoholic, I just made 22 years this December. Although I have not been to a meeting in years, believe you me, I wore those AA slogans OUT during my initial bout and still do every time I go for a test. There have been quite a few other people in recovery on here, and I think we all just shifted our "tools" over to this disease from the other....

The terror, the waiting, the paranoia all are part of lung cancer, you are far from being alone. Know that this is normal and something that we all know well and have had at different times. Just remember that if it IS lung cancer that you have, it IS survivable. YOU are a survivor already, this is just another hurdle if that's what this is...

Wishing you best thoughts and keep us posted....

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I really hope you will not need this site.

My husband is the same age as you. He went for a routine physical and asked for a chest Xray ( he was feeling great), because he is a smoker. Well he went through everything that you are going through, when his chest Xray showed a shadow. He went through all the tests, including a needle biospy (did not hurt at all), he found out his tumor was cancerous. Because he did not have any signs, his tumor was stage 1B(B-because it was big) and they were able to operate and remove his top left lobe. He is now cancer free.

He felt the same way as you did when he first found out there may be a problem. He was so scared, as he has so much to do before his time is up. He thought that if it is Cancer it is a definetely a death sentence. This is important for you to know. IT IS NOT A DEATH SENTENCE... that is why they have this forum, these people are survivors of LC. They are amazing people, so caring, knowledgable and will help you (if need be) all they can.

Do not believe in statistics, because most of the people here have beaten the odds and continue too do that.

Anyway, if it is C, it seems like they may have caught it in an early stage as you had no signs. If it is operable, then you would be one of the lucky ones.

But please do not jump to any conclusions Wait to see what the scans show.

A good friend of mine, went through the same thing and hers was benign. Try not to worry so much, as it may be nothing major.

Thinking of you, you are not alone.

Keep us informed.


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