Oncology (General Cancer)/Lung Nodule


I was diagnosed with a 9.7 mm lung nodule 3 months ago and
the other day I had aanother cat scan done and it showed the
spot was gone.I've smoked for 45yrs straight and now I was told
I have mild COPD .
Do you think I should have another cat scan done just to make sure
that someone didn't read it wrong or is the nodule really gone.
What could it have been.....I never had bronchitits or
pneumonia so I should not have any scar tissue.

Thanks for your help

Lung nodules can be due to inflammation, and can disappear.  You should have at least one follow up scan in another 3-6 months.  People who smoke do get tissue changes in the lungs, sometimes appearing as nodules that don't seem to be cancer when followed up.  That's why the "rule of thumb" is that if a nodule is less than a cm or otherwise very hard to biopsy, it is watched for two years.  If it increases in size by 25% or more, it is removed.  If it is stable, it is generally felt that further surveillance isn't necessary unless new symptoms come along.  However, abnormalities in the lungs of a smoker by radiology seem to be associated with about a 16% chance of lung cancer in long follow up (ten years).  The cancers do not necessarily arise in places where the scar was found.  I think people like you should have a CT scan every couple of years, but most insurance companies won't cover that.  I strongly urge you to give up smoking and start to get regular exercise.  Exercise that puts stress on the heart and lungs is probably the one thing you can do that might reduce your risk.  Hope this helps.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

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Donald Higby, M.D.


I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.


I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

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America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

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