I am freaking out and I don't know what to do---- I went in to have just a plain ol' X-ray of my chest so I could start working at this new job-- they couldn't do a PPD test on me to see if I had TB because my doctor had just given me a MMR shot and you can't do the PPD until 4 wks have passed, so the best way was to do the X-ray-- well, I'm 42 and a dummy because I smoke but have been wanting to quit- have in the past then I'd start up again. I'm so stressed out because I'm going thru this nasty divorce and then I get this X-ray report that states:
There is some parenchymal density at the left lung base with linear components. This may reporesent some chronic scarring of the lingula but I cannot exclude a component of alveolar disease.
Impression: Some parenchymal density of the left lung base which probably represents some atelectasis or scarring involving the lingula. Comparison with prior studies would be useful to document stability along with clinical correlation.
**What the heck does all this mean??? I've been searching the web for an hour now and I'm freaking out-- do I have lung cancer?? one thing said a pnenomia (opps) and lung collapse???
If anyone can tell me what this means and what I should be doing please help.
You can probably relax. This type of report is common. The important words are: "probably represents some atelectasis or scarring". That means the shadow is most likely a scar from an infection in the past; one that you may not even remember. The word atelectasis means that a small portion of one lobe of your left lung may not be fully expanded and air filled. This, too, is a common finding and of no significance. This is not a way of saying that you might have cancer.
And, if you can locate a previous x-ray, this finding may have been present then and not considered important. That is what they mean by stability – that the shadow is the same, unchanged. That is always a good sign that the shadow is not something more serious. This is a very good time to stop smoking for good, protecting yourself and your baby. You can do it and then you won't have to worry about having lung cancer in the future.
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