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Lung Cancer

Noncalcified Pulmonary Nodule

03/17/2010

Question:

I am 33 year old male approaching 34 in a month. I am suspected to have TB infection for which diagnosis is going on. My blood test for mycobacteria came as positive. For testing the infection I have undergone CT scan for neck, chest, abdomen and pelvis. Have a swollen lymph node on right side of the neck, which is suspected to have TB infection and waiting for its biopsy. However, in the CT scan a 3 mm x 5 mm noncalcified pulmonary nodule in my right lung base is found. Radiologist recommended a followup CT scan in 6 months to 1 year. How much should I worry about the possible lung cancer? I heard that if it is caused by the TB infection the nodule should be clacified. In my case what can it be then? I hope I get the answer in this forum. I am research scholar working in an Engineering discipline. Thank you!

Answer:

Small lung nodules are very common especially in certain areas of the country such as the midwest or southwest.  The likelihood this represents a cancer is less than 5%.  TB nodules can calcify over time, but are not always calcified.  I would agree with a repeat chest CT in 6 months.

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