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nodules vs. cancer question


blueangel1103

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My mom was told by her oncologist about 1 1/2 months ago that they found nodules in both lungs and they are too small to consider cancerous however she has started again with chemo (Taxotere). They are not officially calling it cancer. They are calling them nodules instead. Has anyone else ever been told this?

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I'm sorry I don't know your mom's history but it could be that they are trying to knock two birds with one stone in thinking the Taxotere will take care of it if it is cancer. Nodules are called nodules because of their size, location, and the majority of them are too small for biopsy and the majority of them are benign.

If the nodules are still there and the same in size at her next scan, then they would be encouraged to think that it's non cancerous.

Here's the Mayo Clinic answer and also, you can ask Dr. West at www.cancergrace.org and he will be happy to give an experts opinion! He's great!

Although most lung nodules are noncancerous (benign), some represent early-stage lung cancer.

Lung nodules — small masses of tissue in the lung — are quite common. They appear as round, white shadows on a chest X-ray or computerized tomography (CT) scan.

Your doctor may compare your current chest X-ray or CT scan with a previous one. If the nodule appears in earlier scans and hasn't changed in size, shape or appearance, it's probably noncancerous. Causes of noncancerous lung nodules include histoplasmosis, tuberculosis, lung cysts and vascular abnormalities. Such nodules usually require no treatment.

However, if a nodule is new or has changed in size, shape or appearance, your doctor may recommend further testing — such as a CT scan, positron emission tomography (PET) scan or tissue biopsy — to determine if it is cancerous.

This post was provided for informational purposes only and not as medical advise. Please contact your health provider for questions and concerns regarding your health care and in regards to any information obtained from the internet.

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Hi there,

You are very fortunate that the nodules that were found are being dealt with at this early stage. In 2002, Hank needed bypass surgery. A nodule was seen at that time in his X-rays, but the doctors seemed unconcerned about it, and we were never told to address it or follow it up in anyway. Had we done that, he might still be here. I wish you success and all the best in dealing with this situation.

Gail

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I agree with John so far. But I will say it might be helpful to all of us if we had some background info on your mom's cancer and treatments.

You can read my profile below, but I have had nodules for the last 5 years now. I first started out with 2 nodules (4mm) in size, and yes very small.

What they do with mm nodules in most cases is watch them, via CT scan.

This is what we do with my nodules. I have never heard of anyone getting chemo for nodules if that's all they are treating her for.

My nodules haven't changed in size but I have gotten three new nodules and again, we are doing the wait and watch via CT scan with them. We have had MANY MANY MANY Talks here at LCSC about nodules. You can go into (Search) at the top of the page and type in Nodule and you should get a lot of hits on that.

Best of luck.

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My mom was originally diagnosed with an unknown primary - stage 4 about 3 1/2 years ago. It all started when she had a pericardial effusion and they found cancerous cells in the fluid around the heart. They told her she has 3 months to live. They could not find the primary tumor but there was a very small spot (too small to measure) in her lung that shrunk after receiving chemo. She went into remission for 3 years.

In June 2008 she had a x-ray that showed small nodules (I think all are under 5mm) in both lungs. The SUV (standard uptake unit) is 2.5. They told her at 4 they would consider it cancerous but with her history that she should have chemo (Taxotere). Mom is feeling great and has a great attitude. She is amazing.

Thank you everyone for the informative posts!

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Doesn't hurt to get a 2nd opinion.

As the Drs said since the SUV is less than 2.5 it might not be cancer or at least is possibly an indolent form of cancer.

I am not a Dr, but I believe chemo works better on fast growing cancers. You might want to ask Dr West about this.

Have you been seeing the same Drs?

Are you sure it was an x-ray. Unless there are serial x-rays or there are computer enhanced x-ray machine, nodules won't usually show below 30mm or so.

Good luck

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I am sorry.... There is more info that I should have stated.

1. I should have said that she did have a biopsy recently and it came back as cancer.

2. She also had a second opinion when she was originally diagnosed 3 years ago.

Sorry. There is so much information that I forget to put all of it down. Thanks again!!!

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When my dad was diagnosed he had a lot of small nodules and one slightly larger. The slightly larger one was cancer. They did not biopsy all of the other ones, but they did some, and the small nodules were not malignant.

I hope the nodules are not cancer!

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