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Lung diseases

Lump on lung

04/17/2006

Question:

Hello,

My 20 year old son had a bad cold for a couple of weeks that was diagnosed as Bronchitis and the dr also saild he might have a touch of asthma as well. They took an extra that they told him showed a lump on lung and requested he return in 5 weeks for follow up(i assume another xray). My son is in college and doesnt want me to calll the dr dircetly. He wants to handle it himself. The dr told hm not to worry. I know lump in lung could be tumor/cancer etc but I dont have a sense for probabilities of malignant situation. He is nonsmoking vegan . Should we wait the 5 weeks or should I do soomething more aggressive in that I am under the impression that time is of the essence

Answer:

A solitary pulmonary nodule or opacification within the lung tissue on chest xray or CT scan may be due to many different things.  The list of possibilities or differential diagnosis is based upon the clinical history including variables such as age, smoking history, associated medical conditions, geographic location, and the results of previous imaging studies. Other factors include the size, shape, and contour of the lesion.

Given your son's young age and nonsmoking history, the chances are greater that this lesion is benign or not cancerous.  However, it would be very important for either you or your son to call his physician and review the findings and obtain your physician's opinion as to the cause of the lesion.  If your son has not had previous imaging studies it will be very important to obtain the follow up study to compare with the initial study and determine if there has been any change in the lesion.

Communication with your son's physician and prompt follow up studies are extremely important to insure that this lesion is taken care of properly.

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Response by:

Ralph   Panos, MD Ralph Panos, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati