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Lung Cancer

Mult nodular densities 6yr breast cancer

03/12/2008

Question:

Just got the results of my lung CT. 8 nodules from 3mm to 6 mm - both lungs. Report says nodules do not appear calcified. "Conclusion is that there are bilateral pulmonary nodules which are considered to be indeterminate due to their small size and lack of calcification."Do I understand correctly that lack of calcification is a negative sign that there may be a possible cancer?

Radiologist goes on to recommend a noncontrast follow up CT in 1 year "If the Patient is clinically at low risk for developing lung cancer." Am I considered to be low risk or high risk with my history of breast cancer?

Thanks in advance for your answer.

Answer:

Thank you for your question. The process of how to assess pulmonary nodules is an important one. Much depends on the individual's risk factors for lung cancer which include the character of the nodules (size, appearance, whether they are new or have been present for some time), patient's age, sex, smoking history and history of malignancy. While calcification may imply a benign nature to a nodule, it does not rule out malignancy. In addition, there are several non-malignant causes of pulmonary nodules. I would suggest that you discuss with your physician to determine how closely these nodules should be followed.

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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