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Long-term loose stools, CT showed pancreatic cyst and lung nodules, Is this a psuedocyst?

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Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 2565 Questions
HELP PLEASE...after tests and 'basic' diagnosis. My gastroenterologist (on vacation) other docs
in the group practice are unavailable!

I had a CT 5 days ago (abdomen-pelvis-emphasis on pancreas) with IV and night before, 2 (450ml) bottles of Barium,
will IV contrast during CT

CT ordered on basis of long term loose stools (no other symptoms) Doc suspected pancreatic insuff'cy/
chronic pancreatitis I had ACUTE p'titis 30 years ago. No symptoms except IBS episode that is over Prior
IBS episode 5 years ago (started 25 years ago)

Also type 2 DM 9 years

(a week before and since scan stools firm and regular . Not sticky or other signs of fat,
mostly do not float. No symptoms whatsoever)

Doc left for vacation before CT results...Nurse would only tell me I had a pancreatic cyst not the type, nor blood work
(amylase-glipase - stool stain) Would it be a likelyhood that this is a harmless cyst like pseudocyst or other?

ALSO the nurse told me there was an incidental finding on my abd-pelvis CT. of 2 lung nodules....No mention of size. No other
Gastro Doc avail. to explain finding. Nurse was surprised about my extreme concern. Doctor ordered
another CT,,,,, this time, chest, while he's on vacation. No further scans or blood work til my appt with
him on 12/7.

no lung symptoms like cough or breathlessness...I jog fast 5 days a change in endurance
or otherwise.

Medical websites show conflicting information:

Some say that 50% of lung nodules are MALIGNANT in smokers over 50


and several others say 50% of smokers have a lung nodule, and amount of nodules increases over time

I've seen that it is recommended by many Docs to 'watch' and retest after a period of a few months.

(I'm 57 M smoker)

Kindly give me you're gut feelings, based on you're experience. I am terribly stressed and worried, and
mostly incapacitated over this. Agony having to wait 8 days til I see my Gastro Doc, compounded by
getting limited info on my CT scan 'pancreatic cyst' and '2 lung nodules'....Nothing else..very cruel.

With this limited info, I hope you can give me something encouraging.

Thank you so much!
Posted Sat, 21 Apr 2012 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 36 minutes later
Hello and thanks for the query.

Let me provide you wth some information and reassurance here. First of all try to relax and take a XXXXXXX breath. In some time you will have more information on what these findings really mean. I would discourage you from searching the internet for information on this as there is a plethora of misinformation out there and your situation is a unique one which has to be taken in the context of your overall health.

The finding of pancreatic cysts or pseudocysts is not entirely uncommon. I am not concerned that this represents anything worrisome or malignant. These are frequently just monitored and on rare occasions a patient may have this drained in order to help with symptoms.

It is likely that 2 small nodules were seen in the bases of your lungs. This again is not entirely uncommon and most likely represents a benign finding. Your doctor has done the appropriate thing in requesting a CT of the chest to give a complete level of workup of this imaging finding. Often small nodules are just observed over time as you stated in your question.

Again - let me reassure you that these are all more than likely benign findings. In the unlikely event that these are not benign you will have plenty of opportunity to discuss findings with an oncologist. Again it is very premature to worry about all of that at this time but I do understand your anxiety and concern in wanting to have all the answers right away.

If you would like to have a followup sooner I recommend you contact the gastro doc and request an earlier followup appointment. Most physicians will be understanding and will make accomodations to fit you in the schedule sooner. Perhaps you could arrange for a followup a few days after the chest CT scan.

I realize all of this is quite overwhelming and your level of concern is understandable. I hopeyou found my response and recommendations to be helpful and informative. If you have any additional concerns I would be happy to address them.


Dr. Galamaga
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