Small lung nodules: How often should they be scanned / monitored?

Posted by sandie956 @sandie956, Jun 22, 2019

Small nodules on each lung. Third CT scan showed no change. Doctor said if next CT in one year shows no change, need no scan again, is this true? I would rather have scans every year?

Doctors said the same to me. But they still check yearly. This last time 2 years had past. My last CT had a little change, but the doctor said she wasn't worried. Ummmm,,,,glad she isn't worried, but I am. I hate waiting for those results…

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@sandie956 Not knowing more than what you wrote before, I would want to have cans yearly at least. I would especially want this if there was a cance of cancer with the nodules. To my way of thinking it makes sense to keep tabs on these places to stay current with how things are going. I am not a physician, but as a patient iI would want to know. Glad that there is no change in them. Keep us posted.

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@sandie956– Good morning and welcome to Mayo Connect. I'm in agreement with @alamogal635. There isn't enough information to make a guess how to help. So I have a smattering of questions to ask to gather what we need. OK?
How long ago did you have symptoms to go to a Pulmonologist? Have you seen a surgeon? Have you had a biopsy? What physical symptoms do you have?
There are several of us that have multifocal adenocarcinoma of the lung. (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/multifocal-adenocarcinoma-of-the-lung-continual-recurrences/) Does any of this fit what your doctor has said or found?

Sandie- We are not physicians so we can not diagnose. we can only really relate our experiences and see if they might fit your needs and answer your questions. So let's get going and see if we can help, OK?

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@fracturedd

Doctors said the same to me. But they still check yearly. This last time 2 years had past. My last CT had a little change, but the doctor said she wasn't worried. Ummmm,,,,glad she isn't worried, but I am. I hate waiting for those results…

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Hello @fracturedd– I agree. At least once a year is probably good. what kind of a doctor said this to you?

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@merpreb

Hello @fracturedd– I agree. At least once a year is probably good. what kind of a doctor said this to you?

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My pulmonologist.

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In reply to @fracturedd "My pulmonologist." + (show)
@fracturedd

My pulmonologist.

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@fracturedd– Do you have any lung lesions? I'm wondering if you have seen a lung surgeon or oncologist for further diagnosis?

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I have a ton of scaring and multiple nodules. I have seen surgeons. No one will touch my lungs. I have ild,,, kind of as a result of juvenile scleroderma. Couple years ago I collapsed a long, had a talc procedure that went wrong….and,,,,,ugh im a medical mystery basically.

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@fracturedd

I have a ton of scaring and multiple nodules. I have seen surgeons. No one will touch my lungs. I have ild,,, kind of as a result of juvenile scleroderma. Couple years ago I collapsed a long, had a talc procedure that went wrong….and,,,,,ugh im a medical mystery basically.

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*lung

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Hi all, I've been following this discussion. You'll notice that I changed the title to "Small lung nodules: How often should they be scanned / monitored?" I think this topic will interest additional members of the Lung Health group, such as @rdunnigan @grecarmar @marfan1 @pattymac @bartlett36 and @sheker

How often one should get scanned or having imaging tests done really depends on the individual and their risk factors. It's really important to talk with your specialist to make sure you're getting the right tests with the best frequency for you.

Choosing Wisely is an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation that seeks to advance a national dialogue on avoiding unnecessary medical tests, treatments and procedures. I looked up some information about pulmonary (lung) nodules on their site and found these 2 articles of interest:
– Five Commonly Performed Tests and Treatments in Pulmonary Medicine May Not Always Be Necessary http://www.choosingwisely.org/five-commonly-performed-tests-and-treatments-in-pulmonary-medicine-may-not-always-be-necessary/
– ACCP and ATS – CT surveillance to evaluate indeterminate pulmonary nodules http://www.choosingwisely.org/clinician-lists/american-college-chest-physicians-american-thoracic-society-ct-surveillance-to-evaluate-indeterminate-pulmonary-nodules/

This short article from Mayo Clinic may also help:
– Can lung nodules be cancerous? https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lung-cancer/expert-answers/lung-nodules/faq-20058445

Above all, it's important to ask questions. If the suggested frequency of testing make you uncomfortable, tell your doctor and talk about it. Ask questions like:
– How often should I get a CT scan?
– What do you recommend this frequency?
– Would getting scanned more often be harmful for me? Why?

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@colleenyoung

Hi all, I've been following this discussion. You'll notice that I changed the title to "Small lung nodules: How often should they be scanned / monitored?" I think this topic will interest additional members of the Lung Health group, such as @rdunnigan @grecarmar @marfan1 @pattymac @bartlett36 and @sheker

How often one should get scanned or having imaging tests done really depends on the individual and their risk factors. It's really important to talk with your specialist to make sure you're getting the right tests with the best frequency for you.

Choosing Wisely is an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation that seeks to advance a national dialogue on avoiding unnecessary medical tests, treatments and procedures. I looked up some information about pulmonary (lung) nodules on their site and found these 2 articles of interest:
– Five Commonly Performed Tests and Treatments in Pulmonary Medicine May Not Always Be Necessary http://www.choosingwisely.org/five-commonly-performed-tests-and-treatments-in-pulmonary-medicine-may-not-always-be-necessary/
– ACCP and ATS – CT surveillance to evaluate indeterminate pulmonary nodules http://www.choosingwisely.org/clinician-lists/american-college-chest-physicians-american-thoracic-society-ct-surveillance-to-evaluate-indeterminate-pulmonary-nodules/

This short article from Mayo Clinic may also help:
– Can lung nodules be cancerous? https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lung-cancer/expert-answers/lung-nodules/faq-20058445

Above all, it's important to ask questions. If the suggested frequency of testing make you uncomfortable, tell your doctor and talk about it. Ask questions like:
– How often should I get a CT scan?
– What do you recommend this frequency?
– Would getting scanned more often be harmful for me? Why?

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Colleen-I don't believe in the 2 year rule when checking for nodules. I once had the misfortune of having an Intern come into my examine room and say that insurance should only cover the first 5 years of CT scans because it wasn't cost efficient. My exam was for a second cancer after 10 years. If I hadn't been scanned I wouldn't be telling this true story.
Small cell lung nodules are more dangerous and any who has had them will most likely have a recurrence.
I say that anyone who has had a cancerous nodule should have at least a CT once a year.

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@fracturedd

I have a ton of scaring and multiple nodules. I have seen surgeons. No one will touch my lungs. I have ild,,, kind of as a result of juvenile scleroderma. Couple years ago I collapsed a long, had a talc procedure that went wrong….and,,,,,ugh im a medical mystery basically.

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@fracturedd– I'm so so sorry that you have to deal with all of this. It must be scary and have you on your toes all the time. I know that after having lung cancer I'm always looking over my shoulder.
If you don't need oxygen how are you coping with doing your daily routine?

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@merpreb

@fracturedd– I'm so so sorry that you have to deal with all of this. It must be scary and have you on your toes all the time. I know that after having lung cancer I'm always looking over my shoulder.
If you don't need oxygen how are you coping with doing your daily routine?

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No oxygen. I practice Bikram yoga and try to exercise daily. I try to eat as healthy as possible. I try to think in the present,, every once in awhile I think of how I don't really have any treatment that will help me if needed, and that scares me. So I'm just cautious. I just turned 40 and my body feels healthy it's just my darn lungs! I'm wondering if anyone else has had a talc procedure to fix a collapsed lung and had negative side effects?

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