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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Would opacity in the lung zone be indicative of cancer in a patient diagnosed with lung infection?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Deepak Sundriyal

Oncologist

Practicing since :2005

Answered : 1546 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 24 Apr 2019 in Cancer
Question: Last week my neighbor was sanding his red XXXXXXX walkway and I breathed in a lot of dust. I had a little sore throat to begin with, but it evolved into a terrible hacking cough. There wasn't much flem but I literally can't stop coughing once it starts. It also "hurts" when I take a deep breathe. Today (March 26th) I had a chest x-ray. It said I had, "Interval development of a hazy opacities in the left mid/lower
lung zone." My doctor said I had a lung infection and prescribed an antibiotic. I am concerned that this opacity may represent a cancerous lesion. (I had a double mastectomy two years ago for breast cancer). Can the chest x-ray radiologist actually differentiate between an opacity that represents an infection and an opacity that indicates a cancerous leision? Thanks, XXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Deepak Sundriyal 35 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Chest X-ray cannot differentiate

Detailed Answer:

Hello,

A chest X-ray in the beginning of development of a lesion cannot differentiate between a cancerous and infected lesion. Since you are a cancer survivor, there is all the more reason to go for a CT scan to look for a metastatic lesion. There is a possibility of developing an infection and that too can be very well revealed by a CT scan.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Thank you.

Regards,
Dr. Deepak Sundriyal
Oncologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Deepak Sundriyal 16 hours later
Dr. Sundriyal, Thank you for your thoughtful reply. To clarify: If I have a ct scan, will it be able to differentiate between a lung infection and a cancerous lesion?

Best, XXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Deepak Sundriyal 8 hours later
Brief Answer:
Yes, it will.

Detailed Answer:

Hello,

Yes a CT scan can differentiate between a cancerous lesion and infective one.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Thank you.

Regards,
Dr. Deepak Sundriyal
Oncologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Deepak Sundriyal 17 hours later
Thanks for your expeditious reply! A follow-up question for you:

If the CT scan showed a possibly cancerous lesion (and not an infection), would the next step be a lung biopsy of the site?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Deepak Sundriyal 5 hours later
Brief Answer:
Yes, a biopsy is a must.

Detailed Answer:

Hello,

Of course, biopsy is a must for 2 reasons, to confirm the disease and to look at the behavior of the hormone receptors which helps in tailoring the treatment.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Thank you.

Regards,
Dr. Deepak Sundriyal
Oncologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Deepak Sundriyal 2 hours later
What do you mean by "look at the behavior of hormone receptors?"

Thanks again!
doctor
Answered by Dr. Deepak Sundriyal 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Hormone receptors guide treatment

Detailed Answer:

Hello,

Every tumor has some receptors which can be negative or positive. So the hormone receptor ER and PR and HER2 receptor status of tumor can change from initial tumor to metastatic tumor. If initially positive , they can be negative now and vice versa. This information is useful in deciding the future course of therapy.

Hope I have answered your query.

Thank you.

Regards,
Dr. Deepak Sundriyal
Oncologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Remy Koshy
doctor
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