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    Is there a size threshold of a mass in which a chest CT can detect?

Posted on Wed, 1 Jun 2016 in X-ray, Lab tests and Scans
Question: Hi,

Is there a size threshold of a 'mass' in which a chest CT can detect, eg anything less than 1cm in size?
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 11 minutes later
Brief Answer:
NO threshold but even further smaller masses can be detected! on CT!

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thank you so much for this query.

A size threshold is not really the rule but also take into account the size and contrast of the mass with surrounding tissue. Even a tiny fiber of iron would be detected because of its nature and sharp contrast with the lung tissue. However, the CT scan is very performant and can detect masses measuring just a few millimeters in size. Can you please state the real concern about possible chest mass that is bothering you so that I can provide more specific information to you?

I hope this helps. I wish you well. Feel free to ask for more information and clarifications if need be. Above all, thanks for using our services.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Chobufo Ditah 7 minutes later
Thank you Doctor.

Yes, I suffer really badly with anxiety (of which I am receiving treatment for), and my current issue is a worry with Lung Cancer.

My mom had stage 1 LC aged 42 having smoked for 25 years. I am 33 years old and also used to smoke, but have now quit for 2 years, having smoked for only 9 years (at a lesser amount also). she was fully cured following lung surgery (no chemo or radiation required).

I am really scared that I will get this too and would like to know if CT is recommended. I have asked before and was told no but would like further reassurance.

Given that she was 42 years old at diagnosis, if I were to have a CT 1 year before (aged 41), would any potential issues be visible then? Or am I simply over analyzing and worrying excessively?

I really hope you can help ease my mind Doctor.

Thank you for the great service.
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 10 minutes later
Brief Answer:
NO need for a CT, please!

Detailed Answer:

I understand your worries and these are genuine because you have smoked in the past and also have a parent who has come down with this condition. Your duration and quantity is very minimal and with no further consumption, your risk is even lower. Also, CT-Scan will not be of any added value and that will not be helpful at this time. You need no close monitoring or screening from this. Your risk is certainly not among those with huge risk and as such you should be calm. Please, NO CT.....Not at this time for any possible lung cancer screening.

You are good. Stop getting too worried about this. I wish you well
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Chobufo Ditah 25 minutes later
My goodness, thank you so much Doctor for such a great service, I will be sure to leave excellent feedback.

Finally, when you say 'CT-Scan will not be of any added value and that will not be helpful at this time', do you suggest an age it which it may be considered, or am I correct in thinking that you mean I should not consider CT at any stage because of my minimal smoking history and continued cessation? I would much prefer to not have a CT in the future!

I am also correct in assuming that this is not considered to be familial? As before, I have been told this by my GP however I would appreciate your confirmation on this.

Once again, sincere thank you.


Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 47 minutes later
Brief Answer:
See below!

Detailed Answer:

1. This is not a familial cancer. Your lifestyle and smoking are to blame. With you having quitted, there is reason to believe you are really at minimal risk.

2. A Ct-scan without an indication like symptoms of prolonged cough, breathing difficulties, recurrent infections, etc., is really not needed. Should you have a problem in future, then we shall recommend and get one done.

3. Let me know if you have any further worries. I wish you well.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Chobufo Ditah

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 6252 Questions


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