I recently had a chest ct scan done because of mild pain in upper right chest for 2 years. It reads:
1. patchy nonspecific areas of pleural based density in posterior hemithorax on each side that I suspect are related to dependent atelectatic changes. Small pleural plaques cannot be excluded.
What is dependent Atelectatic Changes?
2. There is a small 5mm spiculated nodule in right apex that appears to have central lucency. There is other more benign appearing fibronodular scarring in both apices.
I know this is very small, I'm a little concerned about the "Spiculated" description, from what I have read this is more likely cancer. They are suggesting a follow up 6mos to confirm stability. What do you think about this?
Atelectasis is defined as diminished air in the lung, along with decreased lung volume. Dependent atelectasis is short-hand for gravity-dependent atelectasis. It is related to the mechanical properties of the lung. It is not a sign of a specific problem. For that matter, when dependent atelectasis occurs on both sides of the lung it is not even an indicator of disease.
Pleural plaques are scars of the pleura, a very thin membrane that covers the lung. The most common cause of these is asbestosis. These should be watched, at least for a couple years, at 6 to 12 month intervals.
You are correct about spiculation being one of the characteristics that make a nodule more likely to be cancer, even when the nodule is small, being less than 2 centimeters in diameter. Yet the likelihood of lung cancer in a non-smoker, your age, is small. The suggestion that you wait 6 months to repeat the scan is reasonable. Given your understandable anxiety, however, you might ask if the first repeat scan be done at 3 months. Although, in truth, 3 months is a short period to expect any change.
If this is a cancer, it has been identified at a very early stage. The odds of cure, with surgical removal, would be very much in your favor. It is unlikely that a lesion this size is related to your chronic chest pain.
i just said a prayer for you that it means NOTHING. I had a scan on Friday and am waiting for my doctor's telephone call with the test results... i HATE not knowing what is what...
it would be easy to say to you, don't worry (for the next 6 months) but hard for you to actually do!! Good luck.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.