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Supporting a loved one during lung nodule surveillance


Tegan

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Hello Everyone,

I decided to join this forum and support group as everyone seems so incredibly kind and supportive and I am looking for a safe place to unload and get some help without being judged.  My back story is that from here in the UK I support a man in prison in California; it is rather unusual, and I get very little support from my family.  Two years ago, he developed a bone infection in his collar bone which presented as a mass on his chest.  The doctor initially thought this to be lung cancer, but this was confirmed to be a bone infection when reviewed on a CT scan by a cancer specialist.  During this CT scan two years ago, the cancer specialist did also pick up on a lung nodule.  I am not sure of size, type, location or anything else.  This was put as a secondary matter as the bone infection was so serious and it was recommended that the nodule was reviewed in two years time.  Now, two years is up, the doctor is wanting to perform another CT scan to monitor the size, shape and possible growth of the nodule.  I am very worried that this will turn out to be malignant.  My loved one has had a rather chequered past; he suffers from Hepatitis C and has battled a drug and marijuana addiction most of his life (which I was able to help him beat), although he does not like tobacco.  Googling lung nodules seems to produce different statistics which are very confusing.  Can anyone provide me with helpful facts and advice? Due to the situation, access to speak with his doctor is very limited.

 

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Tegan,

Indeed you face a complicated situation.

Pulmonary nodules are a complicated subject. They occur for many reasons and fortunately most are not expressions of cancer. Here is my go to source of information on pulmonary nodules.

I wouldn't worry about statistics. From your description of his symptoms, he has a complicated health challenge with Hepatitis and infection in the bone. If it is a single nodule, screening by CT scan seems to be a valid approach.

Stay the course.

Tom

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Hi Tegan, and welcome. 
 

Tom gave you great advice. Tons of people have lung nodules and very few are cancer. They do bear watching, though. You can reassure your friend. At least in the correctional setting he should get appropriate medical care. 

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Yes, Tom's advice is great, as usual. He's really well informed. The doctor should be able to tell a lot from the CT scan, especially with an earlier one to compare it to.  It must be frustrating not to be able to get more information about this. Your loved one could ask the docttor for a copy of the new CT report. Usually a patient can get this, but I'm not sure if it's the same in prison.  The radiologist's report would give size, shape, appearance and location. as well as whether any new nodules are found. Based on that, the doctor can determine whether any followup is needed. So the CT is the right move now. 

Bridget O

 

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Hi again, Tegan,

 One more thing: I do think these forums are a pretty nonjudgmental place. Regardless of race, religion, politics, sexual orientation, personal history or whatever else, we're all iin this together. Cancer is a great leveler. We're here to support you, so say or ask whatever you want.\

Bridget O

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