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Lung density in x-rays (abcess)
Xrays showed density in right lower lobe and upper lung (R). She was diagnosed with pneumonia, and put on antibiotics. She feels no better, A week later the dr's office calls and wants more x-rays (wet) .They took about 7 or 8 more and They are not giving us any information what so ever. They are saying there are two spots 1 in the upper r lobe and in the lower lung there is density. They scheduled a ct scan for tonight but are not saying anything else. My mother has had lung cancer twice with re-sections done on both and was treated at DANA Farber and is doing wonderfull, My brother died at the age of 23 of a cancerous brain tumor in 1979, There is more cancer of other types thru out the family. Have you ever heard of an abcess or do they basically not have a clue at this time? Would the next steo be a biopsy?

Linda
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Avatar universal
Hi Linda,

I understand the frustration and the anxiety when there seems to be more questions than there are answers. There may be some miscommunication somewhere, it is not likely that access to information would be purposely denied.  

Your post is a little vague, are you discussing your mother and the possibility of recurrent disease?

If there was a consideration of infection, then some common symptoms would include fever and perhaps cough and difficulty breathing. If your mother is more than 65 years old, the symptoms may vary. Occasionally, the symptoms of infection for old folks would not seem to be related with the lung at all. Some symptoms may be confusion, altered consciousness.

An abscess is a localized area of  infection. It may take several weeks of antibiotics to treat. Drainage may be needed if the abscess is large.

Evaluating the lung may be more difficult as there had been 2 prior surgeries, as scar tissue may obscure some areas. The previous surgeries may make her more likely to get infections if the normal drainage patterns of the lungs are affected by the previous treatment (if getting cough and phlegm seems routine for her, then this may be the case). The CT seems like a reasonable step to take.

The odds of getting recurrent disease would depend on prior staging of the lung cancer. If it was stage 1, then the chances of cure would be better, though even these cases have a higher risk of recurrent disease compared with other surgically removed cancers such as breast and colon cancers.

Try to discuss things with her doctor. I believe that sufficient information empowers patients (despite the uncertainties of tests and treatment outcomes), and more motivated patients tend to do better.

Stay positive.
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