December 1, 2021 at 1:02 pm #19190
When LEMS patients start screening for cancer at diagnosis, many times reports start coming back of lung nodules. This is scary stuff. We’re already jazzed up about the possibility that we may have yet-to-be-discovered cancer. Finding nodules on radiology reports adds to the stress levels.
The good news is lung nodules are seldom cancerous, per the Cleveland Clinic. According to them, about half of all adults who get a CT or X-ray have nodules.
What causes nodules, if not cancer? What is their etiology? According to the Cleveland Clinic, here are the causes.
Air irritants or pollutants.
Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and sarcoidosis.
Fungal infections like histoplasmosis.
Respiratory system infections, such as tuberculosis (TB).
I’ve had both lung infections and a lung abscess. I have nodules. I’ve not had cancer diagnosed. While 95% of nodules are found to be benign, follow-up CT monitoring and needle biopsy are needed if the nodules continue to grow and reach a certain size.
I hope this information helps you understand more about cancer and lung nodules often found during screening.
December 1, 2021 at 3:16 pm #19215BernieParticipant
When I began my journey into this autoimmune world, one of my first concerns was a CT scan of my lungs showing what they called “cysts”, which I will assume are the same as what you are calling nodules.
Because of my profession, I have been on a lung monitoring program for decades where I would get an annual chest x-ray. Unfortunately these x-rays (which I still have in my possession) do not show the cysts discovered this January. Recent discussion with my pulmonologist tells me that they are monitoring the situation with twice-yearly imaging to determine if my condition is changing. Other than that, he did not seem to be concerned about their long-term effect. If they do progress, I may have cause to go back to my employer for compensation because of work-related damage.
Since I am currently SCLC negative, they will also continue to monitor for that as well.
December 1, 2021 at 5:08 pm #19218
December 3, 2021 at 4:02 pm #19223Dorothy DempseyParticipant
The lung nodule I mentioned in a previous reply was thought to possibly be due to a fungal infection.
December 4, 2021 at 7:44 am #19227Mary Hudak-CollinsParticipant
I was diagnosed with LEMS in March. I talked with my docs about doing CT/PET scans. They were ok with ordering the first CT and PET scan but the next scans took me 5 months to get them ordered.
In October (19th), my CT scan showed a 1.5 cm nodule on my thyroid. Apparently, in May, the report showed a low-attenuation nodule but nothing was mentioned to me. Nov. 1st, I had an US of my thyroid and the nodule measure 2.2 cm and was solid. On Nov 9th, I had a needle biopsy which showed benign follicular nodule with acute and chronic inflammation.
Once I found out that I had a nodule, I insisted on a PET scan. The docs were hesitant because the CT scan was clear for any cancers but they ordered it and I just had it on Dec. 2. So now…I await those results. I don’t “feel” like they will see anything, but it’s better to have it done and “know” that there is nothing there. It will also be interesting to see if, and how much, the nodule has grown in a month.
December 4, 2021 at 8:43 am #19229
@mhudakcollins Mary I’m glad you’ve been proactive on the screening. Ashley and I push this all the time, because knowledge and understanding is often lacking in the medical community. Sometimes we have to educate them!
Keep us posted on your PET results.
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