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Possible Early Stage - 32mm mass in LLL

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Hello - I hope it is ok to be here as I don't have a diagnosis yet. I have a 32mm mass in my lower left lobe that has been persistent over 3 months. It was mildly avid on the PET scan with no other findings. I'm a 42 year old never smoker, female. It was a shock at first to find out that it is there, but now I am a bit used to it. However, from what I have been reading, it you have ruled out infection and inflammation (which we have), it's likely going to turn into cancer if it's not already, even it's slow growing. I might be wrong about that, but I really want to have surgery to get it out rather than watch and wait for the next 40-50 years. Doc did do a bronchoscopy, but he wasn't able to do a biopsy because there were blood vessels in the way, making it high risk. Everything was normal leading up to and around the mass, however. 

I'm not getting a lot of information from my Dr, unfortunately. I'd like to know why a CT-guided needle biopsy isn't an option, for example, or why they can't test my blood for EFGR just to see. I even went to another guy to ask my many questions, and he was worse, just like, "well, we don't know what it is..."

I wrote in using MyChart to ask if I was eligible for surgery, and the answer was "well, we usually just monitor these, but sure, we'll refer you to surgery." I'm baffled. I'm not in a small town, but I'm wondering if I should seek a clinic elsewhere. I did find a clinical trial in Texas that focuses on suspicious nodules and treats with Keytruda, so I'm considering that because I'm not that interested in waiting for a mass in my lung to act like cancer before we do anything.

I'd appreciate some perspective. Am I over-reacting or having incorrect expectations of my doctor? I know it might be a hamartoma, but it seems like those often have to be removed too, so I might as well go for it while I'm still young-ish and in good health. 

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I would seek a second opinion at the best cancer centre you can access ASAP. I do not mean to cause alarm but 3.2 cm is a very large nodule and that it is avid on PET is very concerning (how much?). I was unfortunate to have what they told me is a 2.7 cm nodule and they removed the entire lobe. It was adenocarcinoma, I am 49, female, never smoker, and this nodule turned out to have been there at least since 4 years ago, missed by radiology on another incidental scan, when it was much smaller and was left very slowly growing until it reached a mediastinal lymph node too, suddenly placing me stage 3b instead of 1 or 2 (all this was only discovered with pathology as imaging showed much smaller spread).

For lung cancer, when caught early, surgery can be curative but you need a top notch surgeon. If not resectable, they have good treatments too.

Your question about accessing for biopsy by needle is a good one. If you are not getting good answers, find better doctors. "We don't know what it is" is not a good answer. I have never heard of doctors waiting to see what a 3cm+ lung nodule will turn to be but maybe other here have other experiences.

Advocate for yourself strongly. I learned this the hard way. Take care please! 


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Welcome to our forum and I'm sorry you need to be here.  Let's get down to brass tacks.  You need a diagnosis.  If your doctor won't do a biopsy, even a liquid one then you need another doctor.  Another wouldn't/couldn't answer then you need another doctor.  Whatever this is you need a medical team (normally headed by your doctor) that listens to you and responds to your needs.  PET scans are helpful but never definitive.  A biopsy is the only real way to understand what the growth is.  The only thing a surgeon could do is to perform surgery, take a "wedge" of tissue out and test it and to determine if it is malignant and then determine to do a lobectomy or whatever needs to be done.

There is a page here on Lungevity that has a lot of information on Diagnosis and can be found here.  Please keep us updated and ask any other questions you may have.

PS:  You don't need to smoke to have LC you just need to have lungs.


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Thank you both very much for reading and responding. Lou, I noticed you are from Waxhaw. Are there are doctors in Charlotte you would recommend? 

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