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May I ask a question….


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Hi, thank you for allowing me to post. My mother was in the hospital once again due to her congestive heart failure. When they did an x-ray, they found a 2.6 cm nodule in one lung and a 2.3 cm nodule in the other lung. There were no nodules there last time she had an x-ray in February 2022. They say it’s highly suspicious for malignancy. My mother wanted no further testing. To be honest? she hopes she just dies quickly before the cancer gets her. She has already had throat cancer 10 years ago. When you have nodules in both lungs, does that usually mean it’s metastasized from one to another? Without treatment how long do you think she could reasonably survive? Thank you for any insight.

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So sorry to hear of your mother's situation.  Whether nodules are in one or both lungs the only definitive test is a biopsy.  Of course having had cancer already may indicate a higher probability of the nodules being malignant, but no guarantee.  In reality, most nodules (~60%) are benign.  But of course there is always the possibility of cancer.  It must be very hard to know you mother is considering no treatment.  But over the last few years I've come to believe that the end of every life does not need to end in battle with the disease if there is little chance of a reasonable quality of life.  So, I understand her thinking.  Please keep up updated and if you want to know more about the diagnostic process please take a look at "Navigating Your Diagnosis".  I hope you find this helpful.


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Nodules are funny beasts. Often, they just go away on their own. Mine have. They appeared after treatment, then faded away in the months that followed. 

Mayo Clinic has some good info. (Here) and the American Cancer Society. (Here) From what I remember, the action point on a nodule is 4 mm. Otherwise, they just watch. As my oncology radiologist says, "If it's cancer, it will announce itself." How? "It grows." It may well be you mother's nodules are not malignant. Just be sure you're at a solid cancer center, with a lung cancer specialist. 

Please take any predictions on how much time she has left with a large grain of salt, perhaps something the size of a salt lick. My oncologists refuse to even enter that discussion. I know people who have been given months and are still alive and kicking -- happily-- many years after their predicted demise. The statistics you can ind are usually old. Other's here can speak more knowledgeably about the whys of this. 





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