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CT test showed lung nodules, no lung cancer. What does suspicious mean for a lung nodule?

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Practicing since : 2003
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My CT test today showed two lung nodules, the largest being 1 cm. One or both were called "suspicious" on the report. The report also said there was no sign of lung cancer. Exactly what does the term "suspicious" mean for a lung nodule? Also, how does a CT scan actually find signs of cancer? I have an appointment in a couple of days with a pulmonologist, but I'm pretty devastated right now and I'm just looking for some hope and encouragement. I'm 59, have been healthy, non-smoker. I've had bronchitis lately, which is what brought me to the doctor. Thanks for any info.
Posted Fri, 29 Jun 2012 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra 27 hours later
Thanks for posting the query on XXXXXXX
After going through your query, I would like to comment the following:

1. You seem to be having symptoms of cough and breathlessness suggestive of bronchitis that most probably brought you to your doctor.

2. The current concern is two lung nodules, the largest of 1 cm. Normally subcentimetric lung nodules in absence of any other radiological features like mediastinal adenopathy or any other site involvement (eg. lung, pleura or chest wall) do not favor malignancy especially in a non smoker. Hence there is no need for you to be overly concerned at present.

3. If possible a ct guided FNAC (Fine needle aspiration cytology) from the 1 cm lung nodule will be of great help if possible. Alternatively a pet scan will also be of help in determining focus elsewhere if present.

4. If you have a history of previous chest infection than these nodules can be the sequelea of that infection and need not be worried about.

5. Such nodules need to be followed up for a period of two years (with yearly CT scan) if FNAC is not possible.

6. The word "suspicious" is used in cases of such nodule if the radiological features alone are not in favor of terming the lesions as benign ( based on nodule characteristics like margins, blood supply etc.) and hence the lesion needs to be evaluated further.

7. Thus as of now your decision to get yourself completely evaluated with a Pulmonologist is absolutely correct.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be glad to answer follow up queries if any.
Please accept my answer if you have no follow up queries.


Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra
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