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Good Morning: I had CT scan done last week to rule out hernia, diverticulitis, or a tendon pull on the lower left abdomen and they found a 3mm nodule on the bottom right lobe of my lung (Holy cow)!.  They are sending me for another lung CT next Wed (in a week) after I get insurance approval.  As I have read, a CT will not rule out a cancer diagnosis.  I have a pulmonologist appointment the Monday after my 2nd scan.  Is there any thoughts that I should be aware of when I see the doctor on Monday?  If the make up of the nodule tends towards being cancer, do they do a biopsy, or take it out if it is so small and use that as the biopsy?  And yes, I could hardly sleep last night

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Hello @marinisa.  Hearing you have a nodule in your lung is terrifying.  Some things that may calm your nerves.  1) a 3mm is VERY small.  The small edge of a nickel is 2mm.  I’m surprised they could even see that on a scan.  2) the majority of nodules are NOT cancer.   
 

You are correct that a CT scan will not be able to definitively diagnosis a single 3mm nodule.  It’s also probably too small to biopsy.  They will likely have you get scans every six months to monitor it.  If it grows beyond 10 mm they will probably do a PET scan.  Depending on the result of the PET they may try to biopsy it.  All of that can take years.  The longer you go with no changes to the nodule the more likely that it is not cancer, remember most are not.  

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Marinisa,

Agree with Curt; a 3 mm nodule is very small and doctors will likely advise a watch and monitor approach.

Pulmonary nodules are pretty common and most are not cancer.  Here is my go to resource from the Cleveland Clinic that explains the type and nature of lung nodules. You are right. If the nodule shows cancer properties or starts growing, a biopsy or a PET scan is likely the next step.  Let's hope it is a typical non-cancerous nodule.

Stay the course.

Tom

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If you  could read my post above. I had a small nodule found 15 years ago and it was essentially diagnosed as benign. Watched it for several years with no change. So I basically forgot about it 

Now it is pretty large at 4.9 cm.  My advice...nothing wrong with just watching it for awhile but dont forget about it. If you really want to know now and your insurance will cover it have it removed. IMO biopsy for nodules this small not very accurate. Guessing they will want to watch it for awhile unless they find something else going on. 

Finding it early a major plus from my research.

Good Luck

Tom

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Thanks everyone.  This is reassuring and I hope I only have one nodule.  I will update once I visit the pulmonologist.  I was insurance approved so I go for my lung scan tomorrow and the pulmonologist next Thursday.  Will a regular pulmonologist be a good 1st start?  Or do I need to see an oncologist Pulmonologist?

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Marinisa,

Can't really add to what the other folks here have told you except to restate that about 60% of such nodules are found to be benign and even if it isn't benign you (luckily) found it so small that if it had to be removed that could be the extent of your treatment, depending on other factors.  So stay positive and take each step at a time.

Lou

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