Jump to content

Not Sure What to Say...

Recommended Posts

Hi all. I am Aimee. 52 yo. Here's my story...  2/18/2023 I had a stroke. I am fine. No lasting effects. During the stroke protocol a CT was done and a 1.6cm nodule in my lower right lobe was incidentally discovered.  Rescanned in March and October-no change. My doc (a thoracic surgeon) said he thought it was nothing, etc. Fast forward to last Tuesday. Rescanned and it is now 1.9cm. Now he doesn't think it is nothing. I am scheduled for a segmentectomy on June 5. Had a PET scan this morning. No results yet. I am terrified. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Welcome. Be assured, none of us are sure what to say about a potential cancer find.

The PET scan results should be instructive. Here is information I provided years ago about PET scans; how they are administered, and what the results mean. The scan should tell you if the nodule is displaying metastatic behavior and second, and perhaps more important, if your known nodule is the only one. 

If it is metatistic and the only one, then surgical removal of a lobe is a good course of action. I had my entire right lung removed, more than 20 years ago and I've lived an active life (age intersection is slowing things down now). Your quality of life should not be affected missing a right lower lobe.

Two cautions, if the PET scan shows metastatic activity, please insist the nodule receive both a hystology and biomarker biopsy. The hystology procedure is a microscopic examination performed by the pathologist to determine the type of lung cancer, and the biomarker biopsy determines if your type of cancer is treatable by new and effective targeted therapies and or immunotherapy therapies. Lung cancer is so dangerous because it often recurs, even after successful surgery (I had 3 recurrences after my surgery). Knowing biomarker results puts you ahead of the game if you have a recurrence. Second, have a consultation with a medical oncologist idealy before or if not very soon after your recovery from surgery. Your medical oncologist should track you after surgery ordering necessary postoperative scans and screens to check against recurrence. Most of us can only have one surgery and if cancer recurrs, we look to a medical oncologist for treatment. 

So, here is what to say about a potential cancer find: if I can live, so can you!

Stay the course.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Tom.

That information is very helpful. 

I haven't had a chance to be scared about the surgery yet bc I am too busy being scared about this PET scan. 

I am sorry to know you this way but it is very good to know you have been thriving for so long with this.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Tom has given you great information and counsel.  For my part I'll share a blog titled "Thoracic Surgery: Tips and Tricks"....and it can be found here.  It has information for pre surgery preparedness, handling the hospital stay, and post-surgery recovery.  You can also post any questions you have here and we're happy to help you by sharing our personal experience.  


Link to comment
Share on other sites

You've received great information Aimee! I'm glad you found this site.  There are many knowledgeable people on here.  Sending support.  When you have more specifics about your situation you can learn more from some of the past posts.  Likely not to get ahead of yourself now though.  First things first...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Aimee and welcome here!  You are one of the "lucky ones" (as am I) whose lung cancer was found early in a  scan for something else. I'm sure you don't feel lucky now though. Lung cancers usually don't have any symptoms until they are pretty advanced, but the earlier the are found, the easier they are to treat.

My lung nodule was found in a routine surveillance scan for a past cancer; it was watched for a while and it grew, as yours did. On my PET scan it didn't register at all, as some small and slow growing cancers don't. Due to my prior cancer, the appearance of the lung nodule, and that due to its location it couldn't be biopsied without surgery, I opted for a lobectomy. It turned out to be a non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), adenoma, stage 1a.  I didn't need treatment beyond the surgery. 

My surgery was about 8 years ago and surveillance CT scans have shown no evidence of recurrence. 

So, hang in there, being terrified is normal. Let us know your PET results and any questions you have.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Lee.

Thank you so much.  I am trying to focus on the positives in all of this and cannot wait to have it out, whatever it may be. 15 days until surgery and I wish it was tomorrow.

I had my PET scan last week and I think it is fairly good news. Here were the two main takeaways:

(the nodule demonstrated 1.1/1.2 SUV and was noted as 1.6cm which is the size it has been but the recent CT said it was now 1.9com-so who knows on that)

"...mild metabolic activity, this finding is concerning for malignancy."

BUT it also said "The remainder of the study demonstrates no abnormal hypermetabolic glucose activity to suggest malignancy/metastatic disease elsewhere"

So, even though "concerning for malignancy" is scary, I am a little less freaked out as I was very worried about what may be lurking. I am hoping I get the news you did and wish you continued clear scans. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.