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Lung Cancer

1.55 cm single lung nodule



My husband had a CT scan for a kidney stone on 12/6 The CT scan showed a single nodule on his lower right lung of 1.55 cm and lower lymph node in lung enlarged to 1.7. The lung DR wanted to wait and see in 3 mths. We insisted on checking for cancer and we had a PET scan. Both areas lit up. No other areas in the body lit up with the full body scan. The lung Dr still says he does not think this is cancer since my husband is 39, in good health and only smoked in his teens for 5 years. However his grandmother died at 46 with lung cancer. She was a chain smoker. We are scheduled for a biopsy of the nodule on Monday Jan 5th. If this is lung cancer what stage would it be? What could it be if not cancer? If it is cancer what are the treatments and survival rate?

Worried in NC


If the lymph node is involved with cancer, it would be a stage 3 which is usually treated with chemotherapy and radiation.  If the lung nodule is cancer, the lymph node should be biopsied as well.  Lung cancer is uncommon in non-smokers, but possible.  A common cause for nodules that may show up on PET scan is infection such as Histoplasmosis. 

I would insist on seeing a thoracic surgeon after the biopsy if it comes back as cancer or inconclusive.

I hope this helps.

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Response by:

Sandra L Starnes, MD Sandra L Starnes, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati