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Has GERD. Have hoarseness and sore throat. X-ray revealed pulmonary nodule, prescribed antibiotic. Suggest?

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My mother is 87 and has GERD. Yesterday, sudden onset hoarseness and sore throat. Plain chest x-rays revealed a single pulmonary nodule, not visualized previously. MD will do lung CT. MD also thinks bronchitis and has prescribed antibiotic. She is a life-long non-smoker. Is it possible the pulmonary nodule is related to GERD, aspiration or inflamation as opposed to lung cancer?
Posted Mon, 19 Aug 2013 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 39 minutes later

Thank you for the query.

You need to know that chest X-ray is very sketchy test. It is good for lungs infection diagnostics, however it is too sketchy for lung cancer diagnostics. Such nodule can be everything. It can be a blood vessel (when the XXXXXXX meets blood vessel at specific angle, can show up as a nodule), tuberculosis nodule, post inflammation scar. Aspiration of foreign body can also sometimes give nodule image. Cancer is also a possible reason. It does not have to be lungs cancer, metastatic cancer is also possible.
GERD does not give nodes in the lungs.
However very often GERD is related with asthma. This disease can give shortness of breath, cough and chest pain. Chest pain can be also a symptom of heart disease.

Here is what she should do next:
- consult cardiologist and have stress test, heart ultrasound and coronarography if necessary
- consult pulmunologist and have blow test (spirometry) to rule out asthma
- have chest CT and biopsy of this lump if necessary
- as she is over the age of 50, possible cancer sources should be ruled out (FOBT or colonoscopy to rule out colon cancer, CA-125 level and gynecologist consult for ovarian cancer, mammography for breast cancer, abdominal ultrasound for liver cancer or possible metastases)
- gastroscopy should be also done to see stomach condition

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Has GERD. Have hoarseness and sore throat. X-ray revealed pulmonary nodule, prescribed antibiotic. Suggest? 6 hours later
Thank you, Dr. Stanko. Very informative and logical. I really appreciate your reply.
Best regards, XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 4 hours later
You are welcome.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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