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What could it be? What else should I do?


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Hello everyone,

I'm Annie (44 years old). I found this forum while searching for experiences/answers/information.

4 months ago, I had a CT scan for my kidney and the scan "incidentally" showed something on my left lung that's 14mm. I've since had a PET scan (3 months ago) and have been told it's "low activity" and I did not need a biopsy. Yesterday I had another CT scan (3 months since PET scan) and I will see the consultant in about  3 weeks about the results. I never smoked, but was exposed to secondary smoke during my childhood. My dad was a smoker. When I was pregnant with my second child I was told I had pneumonia, and was given strong antibiotics but was never admitted to hospital? In the last couple of years, I have been having a lot of chest infections, which seems to worsen when I have diary.

I am usually a very positive person, but recently I've been feeling a bit scared. Perhaps it's because I've just had another CT scan and waiting to see the pulmonary consultant.

If anyone knows what questions I should be ask when I next see my consultant, I would be grateful for any advise.

Many thanks


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Welcome here.

I'm reading 14cm--that is quite large and in the US, the something would be called a mass and would be very suspicious.  Did you mean to state 14mm?  PET scans are normally not very reliable for small nodules and 14mm is considered small. But if the incidental find is 14cm, a PET response should be very reliable and from your post you've reported low activity which would indicate no cancer. 

To the questions for your next consultation.  If the mass is 14cm and not responding to a PET scan, then what would cause it? That would be my question.  If it is 14mm, does the nodule or tumor show any signs of metastatic activity would be my question.

I hope this helps.

Stay the course.


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Hello Tom,

Thanks for your reply.

Oh, 14cm gave me a giggle! That was an error on my part, it's actually 14mm.

Thanks for the advise, I'll ask this question.

Best wishes,


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I would talk to your consultant about what this nodule looks like to him/her. Is this doctor a pulmonologist? I , too, had a nodule found in a CT scan for something else. It was a little smaller than yours. I had a repeat scan 3 months later and it had grown a little.  My pulmo said that it was supicious for cancer because of its shape- spiculated (spiky outline). It did not light up on the PET scan at all. Because of its location it couldn't be biopsied without surgery and the pulmo and the thoracic surgeon both thought it should come out. So I had a lobectomy and it was indeed cancer, adenocarcinoma stage 1. I'm glad I decided to have it out! I needed no further treatment, just regular scans to watch for possible metastases.

So if I were you, I'd want to know if the nodule has grown any and what it looks like.. Best wishes!

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Hi Annie.  Welcome.  14 mm is pretty small.  Have they given you any other characteristics?   Ground glass, speculated, etc?   Low activity on a PET is good news but can be inconclusive.  Standard protocol is to get periodic scans to see if it grows or changes.  Those are usually every six months.   

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