5mm Lung Nodule (non-calcified) on lower left lobe
I'm a healthy 34 yrs old, non-smoker, mother of two little ones. I smoked for about two years 8+ years ago. Last month in October I started having rectal bleeding so I went to the ER, I was told it was a hemorroid. I had a colonoscopy which came back normal and confirmed internal rupture of hemorroid. While I was in the ER they did a abdominal/pelvic CT scan which came out normal, except for the incidental finding of the 5mm lung nodule. I had full chest CT scan with contrast and the Radiologist told me not to worry, that because of where I live, my age and the fact that I didn't smoke my risks of having lung cancer were very low. He also told me that the nodule looks small, round and smooth. I made an appointment with the pulmonologist to get a second opinion, and he told me that it looked like a swollen vessel. He then called the radiologist and confirmed that indeed it was a very small nodule and wasn't too worried about it. Ï wish I could say the same. I have been so depressed and have had so much anxiety over this nodule, that I've lost weight. I do have a light dry cough for about a month now, he gave me singulair and simbacort to see if that would help, since I suffer from severe allergies. Lately I've been getting pain on my shoulder that runs down to my arm. I don't have shortness of breath, fevers, night sweats, fatigue. I don't know if the pain come from stress or anxiety because I didn't have it before until I found out about the nodule. Can the nodule be causing the pain? All I can think about is this nodule being cancer. I'm going crazy here. Help?
You have provided a very nicely detailed description of your experience and the radiologic (including CT) findings. I appreciate your worry but I hasten to add that it is unfounded. That is to say that everything you have described suggests that this is a benign nodule and not responsible for your symptoms. I agree with everything that you have been told, about this nodule, by your doctors. “Small, round and smooth” is exactly what you would want to have in the description of a nodule.
I would agree that follow-up X-rays/CT scan in 3-6 months would be appropriate. Also, if you have ever had chest X-rays in the past, those X-rays should be located and reviewed by your radiologists. This is a very small (5 mm) nodule and might have been present and just not noted, because it was so small. Were it previously present, that would be great news; that the nodule was nothing to worry about.
Some of your symptoms are almost certainly on the basis of worry and anxiety but we should not assume that that is the case. You should discuss each of your symptoms with your doctor and your doctor may want to prescribe medication to easy your anxiety.
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