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Lung Cancer

Nodule in right lower lobe of lung

10/03/2008

Question:

I have been diagnosed with a 7mm nodule in the right lower lobe. The report states that the lung parenchyma is remarkable for a 7mm nodule. no other parenchymal nodule is present. What does this all mean? I am scheduled for a follow up CAT scan after 7 mos. in Dec Thank you.

Answer:

A 7mm nodule in the lung could represent anything from infection, benign tumor or old fungal infection or even cancer. When we see a new lung nodule, the worst thing we worry about is cancer. Depending on the size, smoking history, age of patient we then determine the likelihood of cancer. If you live in midwest, the chances of this nodule being a fungal infection is very high. Because of the small size, they cannot be biopsied either. Our approach to these nodules less than 1cm in size with low likelihood of cancer is to follow with serial CTs every 3-6 months for a total of 2 years to determine if there is any change in size, shape or character of these lesions over time. Sometimes they get bigger and can then be biopsied, often they will disappear and a good majority will remain the same signifying a scar or old fungal infection. Hope this answers your question. Thanks.

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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