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Is a small nodule in the lung a serious medical condition?

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Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 2565 Questions
This is hopefully just a check the process being proposed is o.k. type of question. I had a CT for gastro problems which are sorted - gallstone. On the CT Scan they found a small lung nodule 5mm. My gastro specialist sent to see a respiratory specialist. He ordered a further CT at 3 months to get the whole lung - only part of lung was scanned originally. This has come back confirming the small nodule in the lower right lung remains but there are no other nodules in the lungs. My respiratory consultant and GP say these findings are immensely common in people over 50 (I am 56 and a non smoker) and small nodules are invariably nothing major. They are both fairly laid back about it - in a supportive way. The respiratory specialist does want to do another scan in 12 months - he called it "watch and wait" and said it is precautionary. I actually am positive about this as I understand if the worst were to occur catching it early is always best. He also said if it hasn't changed we can be secure it is benign. This seems a coherent approach - am I right to feel confident in what he is proposing?
Posted Thu, 6 Feb 2014 in Lung Cancer
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 38 minutes later
Brief Answer: considerations Detailed Answer: Hello & thank you for submitting your question. It is completely understandable to feel a degree of anxiety & uncertainty in this situation. The steps so far & plan for follow-up is most certainly the best and standard of care in approaching these types of incidental findings. I'm happy to hear that your risk factors are low (non-smoker & overall healthy) and this is encouraging. Your positive attitude is definitely a good thing for your overall health--keep it going. Unless you start to become symptomatic with breathing difficulty, cough, or general fatigue/malaise, please try it not give this a second thought. Thank you for sharing your question with me & I hope this was helpful. All the best, Dr G
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Follow-up: Is a small nodule in the lung a serious medical condition? 16 minutes later
Thanks for your reassurance/encouragement that the proposals are totally appropriate. As you say it the uncertainty that is slightly unsettling. However, as the specialist said being a life time non-smoker; the nodule being small; and in the light of all the research data on sub centimetre nodules he feels I should not be unduly alarmed and just get on with my life as per normal. Your advice confirms a similarly level headed approach - thanks.
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Follow-up Detailed Answer: Hello again, I'm glad our communication was helpful. Please don't hesitate to pose any further questions in the future. Take care, Dr G
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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