GrouseMan wrote:During the course of my wife's treatment of nearly 4 years they kept an eye on some nodes in her lungs initially thought to be mets. But over that time period they never really showed any outward signs of being mets. They hardly changed at all. The only way to tell if they were mets would have been biopsies and the oncology team thought that too risky seeing as she had other known mets that they were treating already with FOLFOX, Then FOLFOX + Avastin then 5-FU and Avastin, followed by Irinotecan, Avastin, and Erbitux. No changes there at all. Measurements of small mets are kind of unreliable in my opinion on that scale. Also they are subjective as well depending on the person reading the scan. Same Radiologist both times? One might determine the boundary different than another.
About all I think you can do is take a wait and see position of this sort pf thing. Monitor all your blood work for potential markers (CEA etc....).
Agree with GrouseMan on taking a wait-and-see approach combined with active monitoring of blood markers.
My story: I had a nodule that started growing and was flagged by a radiologist as "likely to be metastatic." Its shape was irregular which is frequently a sign of a met. Because biopsies are usually inaccurate in these situations and there was some fear of "seeding" if it turned out to be a met, the decision was made to simply remove it via a VATS procedure.
It turned out to be a benign granuloma -- not cancer. The key thing though was that my CEA did not go up when the nodule started growing. So hence my advice on monitoring CEA and other bloodwork (LDH, etc) to see if there's any inflammation. If bloodwork remains stable, then there's a strong likelihood (but not certainty) that it's nothing. Still, some thoracic surgeons like to remove even benign nodules if they are growing, following the "better safe than sorry" school of medicine.
Hope this helps.