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Five years....and lung nodule

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:34 am
by DanInMN
I had my 5 year follow-up with my oncologist today. My treatment was by the book, with most everything going the way you hope. Surgery went well. Got through chemo. I have some of the usual side effects of the process. Bowel issues, occasional chemo-head.

I've also had a few nodules in my lungs there were there from the beginning. They did not react to the chemo, and were stable. Then, a year ago, the CT showed one of them grew a little (4 mm to 6 mm). We set another CT for 6 months, and found it had not grown at all. Now, 6 months later, it is 9 mm.

Because these nodules existed before the colorectal cancer was detected, and did not react to chemo, my oncologist says they are unlikely related to the colorectal cancer. She also says the odds of it being cancer are low. But I don't feel reassured, and it is so disappointing to get 5 years out and suddenly need a biopsy. I know there is nothing magical about 5 years, and there never are guarantees, but I think it would have been a relief to get the all-clear regardless.

I hate to be back to the waiting for test results stage.

Re: Five years....and lung nodule

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:27 am
by DarknessEmbraced
I hope that your lung biopsy will be clear.*hugs*

Re: Five years....and lung nodule

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:53 am
by DanInMN
DarknessEmbraced wrote:I hope that your lung biopsy will be clear.*hugs*


Thanks. I guess I'm just venting.

Re: Five years....and lung nodule

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:59 pm
by TXLiz
Vent away! I hope you get good news.

Venting is so needed.

Re: Five years....and lung nodule

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:52 pm
by DanInMN
Actually, now that I've made the mistake of reading about nodule growth, I'm really scared.

Re: Five years....and lung nodule

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:42 am
by stu
Hi,
Please remember that people here have had lung nodules removed that have been a cm and they have not been cancer. They grow too .
In oncology terms they described my mum's nodule as slow growing and that was over two years.
Are you having a PET scan? My mum had uptake at 7mm .
They followed my mum's nodule and although it was slow growing it did continuously grow. She has two nodules that have stayed at 2mm for six months but are not classed as disease.
It's such an anxiety but I would have to say there is a strong possibility that your oncologist is correct and this is a peace of mind exercise.
I do hope so and it's just a bump on the road.
Kind regards
Stu

Re: Five years....and lung nodule

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:50 am
by Jacques
There are many possible causes of lung nodules. See the article below for an overview.

Causes of Lung Nodules Benign and Malignant
https://www.verywell.com/causes-of-lung-nodules-2249386

Also, you can have benign nodules that grow over time. (I have had one of these for the past 5 years). I don't think you need to worry right now.

Have they considered doing a PET scan instead of a biopsy? On rare occasions there are problems with "tumor seeding" along the biopsy route when a lung biopsy is done:
http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1806-37132016000100071

Re: Five years....and lung nodule

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:01 am
by Deb m
I think odds are greatly in your favor that its not cancer. Is your CEA a good marker for you? Has it been stable?

Will be praying and hoping for the best.

deb

Re: Five years....and lung nodule

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:00 pm
by DanInMN
Thanks for all the kind replies. Right now, the plan is to start with the biopsy and see where we are at. I assume a PET scan would follow a positive result. I did have a PET scan 5 years ago with no uptake from the couple nodules I have. My biggest worry is that the growth over the last year or two is close to the median growth for malignant lung nodules. I fall into some of the categories that indicate a low chance of malignancy (non-smoker, etc) and some that are the opposite (history of cancer, fast growing).

I wish I could have given family and friends good news. I know many were seeing 5 years as a big deal.

Re: Five years....and lung nodule

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:41 pm
by sdino
Praying for you Dan thee Man !

Re: Five years....and lung nodule

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:12 pm
by lpas
Hi Dan,

There's a long-term member here--JulieJ--who had a lung spot that had been around since diagnosis suddenly start to grow. She had VATS and it turned out to be benign. You can read one of her posts about it here:

http://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=37873&p=271323#p271323

It's worth noting that Julie's doctor at MSK recommended against biopsy due to the possibility of seeding. Granted her situation was slightly different given that she was already stage IV at diagnosis, but this still might be worth a conversation with your doctor. It it was me, I'd ask at least request another PET before attempting a biopsy.

Will be keeping fingers crossed for you that this is nothing. Please do post back and let us know.

Re: Five years....and lung nodule

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:19 pm
by TXLiz
My husband smokes cigarettes constantly and has had lung nodules for years. His are harmless right now, but they watch them. He's never had a cancer dx.

Yours could very well like his! Praying for you.

Re: Five years....and lung nodule

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:49 pm
by DanInMN
Thanks again for the thoughts and info. Very helpful!

My biopsy is scheduled for Wednesday. I'm going to try to get a hold of my oncologist before then to ask about seeding. From what I've read, it does seem like a low risk thing, but still.....

I will definitely update this thread when I know more.

Re: Five years....and lung nodule

Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:18 pm
by testing765
Good luck on Wednesday DaninMN. Hopefully it won't be anything you need to worry about.

Re: Five years....and lung nodule

Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:44 pm
by Lee
HI Dan, yes good luck. Five years out and dealing with this scare. That is tough. I remember hitting the 4 -5 yrs mark thinking/feeling I've actually beat this.

All the best to you,

Lee