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What can be nodule on upper left chest ?

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Practicing since : 2005
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I recently went in for 2 ct scans 3 weeks apart for shortness of breath and because I have thrombrosis in a superficial vein in the arm, they were checking for a PE. In the 2nd scan I just had done yesterday, they discovered a 'nodule' on my upper left chest/lung. They compared it to my previous ct scan and there was nothing there. Is it possible this is a tumor? Could it show up that quickly? They want to recheck in 3 months. Any information would be greatly appreciated
Posted Wed, 25 Apr 2012 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Rhea Chanda 17 minutes later

Thanks for the query.

A solitary pulmonary nodule is a single lesion less than 3 cm seen in the lung. It may be benign or cancerous.

Most of them turn out to be benign. They can be caused due to scarring,infection etc.
Cancerous nodules are a possibility of course and usually grow in size. In such a case biopsy is necessary.

"Hence monitoring is very important and essential".

The nodule has to be at least 1cm before its visible on the ct scan. So maybe, it was small so wasnt seen before. The follow up scan is the key here.

Hope I have provided you with some useful information. Should you need more information, I will be available to help you on follow ups.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What can be nodule on upper left chest ? 1 hour later
would you draw a conclusion that its growing more aggressively if it didnt show 3 weeks ago and now it does? Should I request another scan before 3 months? And can there ever be false positives where it was a shadow or something else?
Answered by Dr. Rhea Chanda 9 minutes later
Hello again,

I can understand your concern. Let me provide you with some useful information and reassurance.

I wouldn't conclude that its 'growing fast'. I already mentioned that it has to be at least 1 cm before it can be properly visualised.

Yes, the lesion can be an artefact (false positive) and that's why the follow up scans are needed. I dont think there's any point to repeat scan before 3-6 months.

I dont think that there's cause to worry yet. As I said, even fungal infection, scarring, calcification and granulomas etc can cause similar lesions. Wait for the repeat scan. Even if its confirmed, only a biopsy can diagnose the nature of the lesion.

Hope I have answered your query adequately.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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