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Lung Cancer

Lung nodules 2 - 7 mm

10/05/2009

Question:

I had a CT Scan done for other reasons which showed moderate centriloblar emphysema with pleural parenchymal scarring within the lung apices; scattered pulmonary nodules ranging from 2 mm to 7 mm - the largest within the superior segment of the left lower lobe. also:There are scattered pulmonary nodules and foci of gound-glass opacities.

I have been smoking for 4 1/2 years - (I`m 58 years old) CT done in May - gave up smoking in May 09. been 4 months. Waiting for the doctor to repeat a f/u CT Scan. I have not been able to sleep well - very worried....have gained weight since I quit smoking. I feel great - pulmonary tests (breating tests) were all normal. Should I be this extremely worried. Quit smoking in my 30`s started again in my 50`s.

Answer:

Thank you for your question. Certainly, following lung nodules by CT scan can be very anxiety provoking. There are several factors to consider when assessing one's risk for malignancy of the lung: smoking history, chronicity and appearance of the nodules, family history and personal history of malignancy. The approach to lung nodule surveillance has to be based on a frank discussion between physician and patient of risks and benefits. Also keep in mind that scattered nodules may represent other non-malignant diseases including infection. You should express your concern to your primary care provider.

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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