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Help for my mom

My mother was told this week following an exam that she has what different doctors called "polyps" and/or "absesses" on her lung.  She was treated (successfully) for a malignant tumor in her neck about 5 years ago with radiation.  Her last x-rays, about a year ago, were clear, so this has developed recently.  What are these polyps? Could it be cancer re-appearing, or are there other types of non-malignant polyps? She is seeing a lung specialist in Florence, SC on Monday (12th), but I'm trying to get some information for her, because she doesn't have access to a lot of info in the small town where she lives, and doesn't have computer access (and frankly, I think she's too scared right now to find out much on her own).  Anything anyone could tell me about this would be greatly appreciated.  It seems we've caught this early.  What kind of odds does she face for a good outcome?  How often are these polyps malignant? She was told that this could have been dormant "in her nerves" since the last treatment.  Does this sound right?     doug
1 Responses
251132 tn?1198082422
I am not familiar with the use of the term "polyp" on the lung to describe anything that would show up on a chest x-ray.  Polyps are found in the nose or voice box.  These are fleshy growths of the lining of the nose and sinuses or the vocal cords.

An abscess is a very different problem.  It is a collection of pus.  Shadows on chest x-rays can resemble abscesses.  These can be non-cancerous or cancerous.  Your mother will need to see a doctor to learn more specifics about these abscesses.  The lung specialist that she saw on Monday 12 May 2003 is the type of specialist to answer your questions, determine the most helpful testing and the best treatment for your mother.
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