Oncology (General Cancer)/lung nodules


QUESTION: I'm a 32 w f. I have had 2 lung scans the first showed i have 3 nodules the 2nd showed that one grew from 6 mm by 6 mm to 7.5 by 10 mm the other 2 are 8 mm. Could this be the early signs of lung cancer? I ave smoked since i was 15. I go back in July for another scan. Just scared it is lung cancer> please help me with my question.

ANSWER: While there are some rare forms of lung cancer that might do this in a young non-smoking female, it would be highly unlikely.  There are other reasons for lung nodules, even ones which grow a little.  Sarcoid is a disease which could do this, and is easily treated.  You might have non-caseating granulomas from a fungal infection or from something that injured your lungs.  lymphomas can do this as well.  My bet would be that it isn't lung cancer.  That being said, if the larger nodule gets bigger the next time around, a fine needle biopsy might be in order.  That is usually safe and can answer the question.  Generally radiologists don't try to do fine needle biopsies on abnormalities less then 10 mm in diameter since they are very hard to hit by passing a fine needle into the chest.  So take a few deep breaths and let your doctor do that other scan.  Let me know what it shows and what was recommended.  Good luck.  

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QUESTION: Thank you  but you.  said a non smoker I have smoked since I was 15. I get bad chest pains and hard pressure on my chest, I get very tired and run down.  Thank you for your help I go back July 8th I will let you know!

ANSWER: Sorry.  if you are a smoker, then it's more likely that the nodules are related to smoking.  Here is a statistic:  Smokers who have abnormal lung findings have a real risk of eventually developing cancer.  The ones who stop reduce the risk for every year they have not smoked, so that after about ten years their risk is not normal, but closer to normal.  At your age, you should stop immediately.  

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QUESTION: OK I had my other ct early cause of chest pains, and I had the one Nodula that started out at 6 by 6 mm in Jan, in April is was 7.5 by 10 mm, and the ct on June 26  I just had its now 8.8 by 13 mm, it keeps growing they tested me for toxoplasmosis and results were negative, could this be lung cancer??

It is possible that it is lung cancer, because it is clearly growing.  However, the odds are still that it is something else.  There are other disorders besides toxoplasmosis.  I would definitely consider a fine needle biopsy of a nodule this large.  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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