Multiple lung nodules: Might they be noncancerous? What next?

Posted by felix536 @felix536, Aug 17, 2021

I have 3 lung nodules measuring 4mm, 6mm and 14 mm in three different lobes. Have had ct scans showing no change in 6 months and have another scan scheduled in three months per my pulmonologist. Should I get a second opinion from an Oncologist or wait it out? What are the chances of this being noncancerous?

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@felix536

Hello All, I haven't been on for a while, playing the waiting game but finally went to a UCLA pulmonologist for a second opinion of my 12mm ground glass nodule and should be hearing back soon. Have two other nodules 4mm and 6mm, UCLA thinks the 4mm is calcifying so probably scar tissue and the 6mm may a limp node. Next Thursday they are going to present my case to their bi-weekly nodule group of doctors and decide if a needle biopsy should be done. The radiologist at UCLA seems to think it may have grown slightly vs my previous radiologist that says it hasn't. I've been told the needle biopsies carry a significant amount of risk (collapsed lung) but the nodule is in the very outer edge of the lower left lung so pulmonologist said shouldn't be too hard to get to. Anyone want to share needle biopsy experience? Very best to all of you!

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I had one and there weren't any problems. It was my first time with a major organ and I felt frantic. I was also introduced to versed. I was awake, on a gurney, partway into a CT scanner and as high as a kite. I had a great time. Oh, it was also in a hallway!

Please know that I'm not trying to make light of biopsies. They can be risky, but so much depends on the health of the person's lung, the position of the cancer nodule, and the technicians doing the procedure. I feel that I am so lucky to live in a time where such procedures are not only possible but are done as a matter of routine.

I wish you the best of luck. But most of all, how are you feeling about the risks?

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@stellerjohn

Please be more specific..is this a special surgery that does not go into the lung specifically to the nodule? I dont understand

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John- There are all sorts of different types of surgeries that can be performed on the chest. VATS is one way to access cancer that does not involve opening up the chest and spreading ribs.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/video-assisted-thoracic-surgery/about/pac-20384922
Can I help you do some research? Do you have specific questions or do you not know what to ask? (like I was, and still sometimes don't!)
Merry

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@stellerjohn

Please be more specific..is this a special surgery that does not go into the lung specifically to the nodule? I dont understand

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VAT surgery is much easier on the patient than open thoracic surgery. Good for older people. I had a cancer removed end of December and went home after two days. They make three incisions on your side for camera and instruments. They go in between the ribs into your lung. They can see everything on a TV, so they do biopsies and remove cancer. Check out Mayo VAT surgery for lung cancer. And google the term. I came across one video which said that only 1/3 of thoracic surgeons do this surgery.

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My petscan showed a hot, right axillary lymph node. Needle biopsy failed. It is a small size and the Dr wants an excisional biopsy. But the surgeon says he is unlikely to find it, since he cannot feel it and I would be looking at exploratory surgery. Getting an ultra sound of the area, but not sure he will be able to find it. Any common experience? (I have ground glass nodule in lung)

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@marye2

My petscan showed a hot, right axillary lymph node. Needle biopsy failed. It is a small size and the Dr wants an excisional biopsy. But the surgeon says he is unlikely to find it, since he cannot feel it and I would be looking at exploratory surgery. Getting an ultra sound of the area, but not sure he will be able to find it. Any common experience? (I have ground glass nodule in lung)

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Oh Mary, what a tough position to be in. Have you thought of a second opinion about this?

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@merpreb

John- There are all sorts of different types of surgeries that can be performed on the chest. VATS is one way to access cancer that does not involve opening up the chest and spreading ribs.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/video-assisted-thoracic-surgery/about/pac-20384922
Can I help you do some research? Do you have specific questions or do you not know what to ask? (like I was, and still sometimes don't!)
Merry

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I dont know enough yet. March they do another CT to see if nodule is still there. Prayers.

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@marye2

My petscan showed a hot, right axillary lymph node. Needle biopsy failed. It is a small size and the Dr wants an excisional biopsy. But the surgeon says he is unlikely to find it, since he cannot feel it and I would be looking at exploratory surgery. Getting an ultra sound of the area, but not sure he will be able to find it. Any common experience? (I have ground glass nodule in lung)

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I had similar nodule problem….there but too small and hard to reach to do anything about it yet. Had 6 week scan and it is mostly gone….if it's too small it is not wise to try and biopsy it but wait and see if and how it grows…always waiting for the other shoe to drop….March isn't too far away to get another scan….

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I got a second opinion at UCLA for my 12mm nodule, lower left lung and have the option of wedge or needle biopsy and have decided on needle biopsy. There hasn't been any growth this past 11 months but there is some hardening on the outer edge and it is shaped so oddly and ground glass that they think something has to be done. I will share results with you once done. Anyone else had this done?

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@merpreb

Good morning- It seems that between every 3 months and 6 months are the norms for following lesions depending on how new they are or if they have grown, and of course their size.

With my first cancer, I started keeping all of my tests, scans, and lab work. I began looking up all of the terms that I wasn't familiar with and wrote them down on the results so that when I ran into them again I knew what they meant. I wrote lists of questions. I asked every single question at my appointments and made sure that I understood the answers as best as I could and then googled them when I got home. There's just so much to learn and understand, it can be pretty overwhelming. Are you keeping track of your findings?

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Oh my goodness! I do the same thing. Kept all paper scan reports, blood work etc. my file is bursting! I too write down all questions for docs and if word I don’t know meaning of I google it. I have learned so much being my own advocate. I can talk the talk. I wonder what the docs think of me sometimes. Often feel that they don’t like their patients being sometimes more up to date on their illness than they are. Take care! Kathy

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@felix536

I got a second opinion at UCLA for my 12mm nodule, lower left lung and have the option of wedge or needle biopsy and have decided on needle biopsy. There hasn't been any growth this past 11 months but there is some hardening on the outer edge and it is shaped so oddly and ground glass that they think something has to be done. I will share results with you once done. Anyone else had this done?

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Felix- Good morning. I will be interested to hear why you chose a biopsy instead of complete removal?

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@felix536

I got a second opinion at UCLA for my 12mm nodule, lower left lung and have the option of wedge or needle biopsy and have decided on needle biopsy. There hasn't been any growth this past 11 months but there is some hardening on the outer edge and it is shaped so oddly and ground glass that they think something has to be done. I will share results with you once done. Anyone else had this done?

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I too am curious as to why the needle biopsy vs wedge. Whichever you decide be sure to have tissue sent to Foundation One medicine pathology for biomarker testing to determine your further course of treatment….

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@dedehans

I too am curious as to why the needle biopsy vs wedge. Whichever you decide be sure to have tissue sent to Foundation One medicine pathology for biomarker testing to determine your further course of treatment….

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@dedehans– Wouldn't the doctor send her samples for testing to a place of his choosing, or his hospital's choice?

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