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Lung Cancer

3mm stable pulmonary nodule

09/09/2010

Question:

In June of 2010, I went to the local ER for feeling ill. They performed several tests, including CT scan. I was released feeling better after three bags of IV. I made a follow up appointment with my primary doctor as suggested by ER Doctor. My primary doctor said he noticed something on my CT scan that was 3mm, and wanted me to get another CT scan in 30 days. In August of 2010, I went for that CT scan as suggested by my primary doctor. The results: Stable Pulmonary Nodule.

I don`t smoke. I have been around others that smoke. I smoked maybe a cigarette here and there during my younger years, but NEVER purchase a pack of cigarettes or smoked a pack either. What is next? I have read alot on this subject. Do I share with the family? Or wait for further testing?

Answer:

Thank you for your question. Being told that you have a pulmonary nodule can cause significant anxiety. However, the majority of incidental pulmonary nodules that are detected tend to be benign. Furthermore, when assessing the risk for a nodule being malignant, we take into consideration several factors including the individual’s smoking history, family history of cancers, size and appearance of the nodule. The size of the nodule and your smoking history place you in a lower risk category. I would suggest that you discuss with your health care provider the risks and benefits of continued monitoring of this nodule as guidelines do exist for how this nodule should be managed.

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Response by:

Patrick  Nana-Sinkam, MD Patrick Nana-Sinkam, MD
Associate Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University