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white spots on CT?


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I'm curious if anyone else has had any experience with this: My DH completed his treatment with Taxotere at the end of October. In a followup Ct, they said they see "some changes" that look like tiny white spots in a totally different area of the lung from the initial mass (which has shrunk significantly) but nobody seems to be able to say what the spots are for sure as they are not consistent with with what they have seen before. Neither the docs nor radiologist, nor pulmonologist are sure. They said it "could be" infection so they put him on several rounds of antibiotics... each one for two weeks, with no significant change in the spots.

Doc does not want to assume it is progression of the cancer and start him on new chemo unless he is sure it is cancer. The pulmonologist can do a bronchoscopy and biopsy but Jim is apprehensive about that due to some mistakes that were made the last time he had this procedure at the hospital (it's a large teaching hospital and we can't imagine how they could allow such errors to happen). It's only done under local anesthesia though. CT scheduled for Tuesday to see if there are any additional changes before a decision about the biospy.

In the past few weeks he has also developed hoarseness and cough that are "different" but the GP thinks that could also be upper respiratiory infection that is viral in nature so it's not touched by antibiotics. The hoarseness could also be due to the tumor pressing on nerves that control the vocal cords, but we don't know for sure. Of course we are always apprehensive about any new developments that could be related to the cancer. Any advice/experience you have to relate would be appreciated! Sandy

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I had something similar last fall.. They (onc and surgeon) watched it awhile and were chomping at the bit to get a piece of it. Not me. It seemed to grow in numbers. It was indeterminate. Soon it had a name of multiple lung nodules. I said bullshoney. Nothing more has been said about it. I think I had a couple of docs who needed to get some students experienced with lung cancer surgery.

Lucky for me I trust my gut most of the time.

Cindi o'h

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18 months ago he had similar symptoms and they said it was "radiational pneumonitis" but now they are saying that's not the case because it's been too long since his radiation to be that. The symptoms are also similar (increased and persistent cough to the extent that he can't get a full sentence out without coughing). But now he also has hoarseness. Last time they put him on a low dose of steroids which worked but for some reason they are reluctant to use steroids now.

I am also interested in your experience with the pleurodesis (talc procedure) as they have suggested that for him but he does not want to have it done. He had extensive fluid buildup last summer but they withdrew 2 liters of fluid via thoracentesis and it has not returned extensively since then. I don't want to consider a radical procedure that requires general anesthesia unless it's critically necessary.

Sometimes I do wonder whether they are suggesting things for "experimental" purposes since this is a teaching hospital and the assign a new "fellow" to us every 6 mos. - we are now about to meet #5! Sandy

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