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Lung Cancer

Lung nodule

02/24/2009

Question:

my husband is 48 years old and was just told he has an ill-defined 6x7 mm noncalcified nodule in the subpleural region of right midlung. Is this dangerous, what is the possibility of it being malignant? What is the best thing to do now ? I am very worried.

Answer:

A non-calcified nodule in the lung is always worrisome for malignancy, however this can be a scar tissue or infection as well. Depending on a patient's age, smoking history, cancer history, size, shape and character of the nodule we determine the likelihood of cancer. Biopsy is needed to confirm cancer. However, a 6x7mm nodule is probably too small to biopsy. Under these circumstances an option is to repeat a CT scan in 3 months to determine if there is any change in the nodule. If it is bigger, we can get a PET scan or even try to get a biopsy. Sometimes, the surgeons may just prefer to remove the nodule if the likelihood of cancer is high. In your case, the best option would be to see a pulmonologist and have him review your husband's CT and history. A follow up CT may be appropriate.

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Response by:

Shaheen  Islam, MD, MPH Shaheen Islam, MD, MPH
Clinical Associate Professor
Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
Hematology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University