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Hello to all!


Brent H.

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Greetings everyone/ My name is Brent and recently came across this forum doing research on what my issue with my lungs is. Currently live in Oklahoma and working for the Army. I am a Navy vet, father, husband, and grandfather. My wife is currently undergoing treatment for thyroid cancer. 

As a short story I will tell you how this all started. Back at the beginning of the year my wife and I went to a home and garden show at the state fairgrounds. We came across a booth that was offering a couple's discount for a head and chest CT scan for $199. We decided to go ahead and do it since I had Covid back in November and was curious what the damage to my lungs was. After the scan we both received our results. That spur-of-the-moment decision is what led to us finding my wife's cancer and possibly saving her life(as it had metastasized and spread to a couple of lymph nodes). My scan showed a 1.5x1.1x1.4 cm irregular nodule in my right, lower lobe. They suggested I contact my primary care physician (VA) for follow up. After reviewing the report he said to wait 3 months and we would do a CT with contrast. I looked at the report yesterday and there were changes noted.

The findings were as follows:

Within the inferior medial aspect of the right lower lobe, the posterior basilar segment there is a pleural-based spiculated 1.5 x 1.2 cm lesion measured on series 6 image 69 coronal series which is concerning for malignancy. There is centrilobular and paraseptal emphysematous changes which are greatest in the upper lobes bilaterally. Along the right minor fissure there is a smoothly marginated noncalcified 4 mm nodule, likely an intrapulmonary lymph node. Second pleural-based 2 mm nodule along the minor fissure image 275. Within the right middle lobe 3 mm noncalcified nodule image 324. Some platelike atelectasis in the inferior lingula. 2 mm noncalcified nodule right upper lobe series 3 image 154.

Obviously I am not a doctor and really have no idea what all that means, but I am curious to what it all means. Sadly, now I have to play the usual VA game of wait and see. Normally I have no problem with that but this time, however, I do have a problem with it. The biggest thing for me is that there is a family history of various cancers and I don't feel good about waiting around.

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Hi, Brent, and welcome. The spiculated nodule is the one they seem most concerned about. I know that when my nodule (being followed after being seen a year before) grew and became spiculated, that was when the pulmonologist and surgeon thought it was suspicious enough to remove the lobe. Pathology showed it to be cancerous. 

If I were you I'd get a referral to a pulmonologist for a consult. They are the experts on lung nodules.  It's a fairly small nodule and it may not be possible to biopsy. If not, a PET CT scan would probably provide more information. That's not something you'd go get on your own--they are VERY expensive and a doctor would have to order it.

The other nodules may not be anything to worry about--most nodules aren't cancer, and they could very well be scar tissue from your bout with Covid.

Try not to stress out too much over this. If it is cancer, you've caught it early. Lobectomy (surgery to remove the affected lobe) is a fairly simple surgery with a quick recovery time. I noticed almost no change in my breathing after the surgery. 

 

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3 minutes ago, LexieCat said:

Hi, Brent, and welcome. The spiculated nodule is the one they seem most concerned about. I know that when my nodule (being followed after being seen a year before) grew and became spiculated, that was when the pulmonologist and surgeon thought it was suspicious enough to remove the lobe. Pathology showed it to be cancerous. 

If I were you I'd get a referral to a pulmonologist for a consult. They are the experts on lung nodules.  It's a fairly small nodule and it may not be possible to biopsy. If not, a PET CT scan would probably provide more information. That's not something you'd go get on your own--they are VERY expensive and a doctor would have to order it.

The other nodules may not be anything to worry about--most nodules aren't cancer, and they could very well be scar tissue from your bout with Covid.

Try not to stress out too much over this. If it is cancer, you've caught it early. Lobectomy (surgery to remove the affected lobe) is a fairly simple surgery with a quick recovery time. I noticed almost no change in my breathing after the surgery. 

 

Thank you for the warm welcome. There will probably be a pulmonologist involved anyway. The day before I got a copy of the CT report I had a PFT done at the VA, so most likely he will already be in my records and will be able to see the results. The biggest concern I had about the nodules that appeared on this most recent scan was they were not there on the earlier scan this year. Somewhere I have a copy of that scan and report also. I will have to try to find it and compare the two.

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Nodules sometimes appear and disappear on subsequent scans. Your nodules are tiny, and a CT scan takes an image of a "slice" of your anatomy at a time. If the angle changes even slightly, a nodule that showed up on a previous scan might not on another, even though it's still there. Different machines will take different images, too. So there's a good chance those nodules were there before but just didn't get picked up.

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22 minutes ago, LexieCat said:

Nodules sometimes appear and disappear on subsequent scans. Your nodules are tiny, and a CT scan takes an image of a "slice" of your anatomy at a time. If the angle changes even slightly, a nodule that showed up on a previous scan might not on another, even though it's still there. Different machines will take different images, too. So there's a good chance those nodules were there before but just didn't get picked up.

I did not know that. Thanks. I guess you really do learn something new everyday. knowing that does help ease my anxiety a little. 

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I have a 5/6 mm stable nodule that my oncologist just watches. It never changed after all the treatments, so I assume it's non-cancerous. Good for both of you that you went for the CT scans. If I had done that, I bet my LC could have been caught earlier than Stage 3b. And it's great that you survived your bout with Covid!

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Hello from me too.  I have a 6mm nodule in my left lung that after three years of watching the radiologist finally determined to be a “granuloma”.    I wish the service you had for CT screening was available for me same as Judy said….

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Looking back I am so glad we did it. Neither one of us show any kinds of symptoms that would make someone think cancer. Had I not had covid I probably wouldn't have had the CT done in the first place. The clinic where we had it done called me to discuss the results and recommend I get a follow up scan with contrast to further determine what it was that was seen. They didn't call my wife at all and just mailed a copy of the report to her. She followed up with her doctor since her side of the family has a history of thyroid problems, but no cancer. She got the call that told her it was cancer 2 hours into our vacation. 

Our local hospital offers free scans for high risk people. I couldn't get one done there because I didn't meet their age threshold (55, I'm 49)but it is free. The place that did mine was a place called Advanced Body Scan in Oklahoma City. 

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50 minutes ago, Judy M2 said:

I have a 5/6 mm stable nodule that my oncologist just watches. It never changed after all the treatments, so I assume it's non-cancerous. Good for both of you that you went for the CT scans. If I had done that, I bet my LC could have been caught earlier than Stage 3b. And it's great that you survived your bout with Covid!

I had a really mild case of covid. It was a whole lot better than my last battle with the flu. Problem is that I am one of those long haulers. The residual effects have been worse for me. I have no stamina anymore and since then my doctors have been treating me as if I had COPD or Emphysema. Some of the symptoms have gone away but there are still things hanging around.

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