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A 53-year-old female asked:

I am at very high risk for lung cancer. a noncalcified nodule showed up on screening ct. scared to wait the 3 months for next ct. what else can i do?

7 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Laura Yauch
Specializes in Family Medicine
Risk for cancer: You want to make sure you are a non smoker- you don't smoke and make sure that you are not exposed to 2nd hand smoke. Eat a healthy diet with leafy green vegetables and get enough sleep and exercise. Do not take extra vitamins.
Dr. James Marx
Pain Management 49 years experience
See Lung Specialist: A non-invasive test like a sputum cytology could be done to look for cancer cells in you sputum. Also, blood test for some infections disease may yield some information but less likely due to non-calcified nature. You might also scour for some previous chest x-rays to see if the lesion was present previously. A second opinion may also be appropriate in this situation.
Dr. Mark Soberman
Surgery - Thoracic 39 years experience
It depends: It depends on the size and configuration of the nodule. Who did you see? A pulmonologist? A thoracic surgeon? Some nodules can be ignored, if they are very small, say 3-4mm or less. Those that are larger might be considered indeterminate and can be followed. Some just need to come out. There are guidelines to help with management, devloped by the accp and the fleishner society.
Dr. Ed Kaplan
Hematology and Oncology 40 years experience
Depends: 1. Quit smoking 2. If the nodule is greater than 0.7cm, consider getting a pet scan.
Dr. Jeffrey Buchsbaum
Radiation Oncology 32 years experience
Some good data: Few with positive screens end up with cancer - just to put it in perspective. We need more data, but a quick read of this review suggests that even a positive rarely is associated with cancer.. http://www.ncmedicaljournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/74509.pdf.
Dr. Jeffrey Buchsbaum
Radiation Oncology 32 years experience
Provided original answer
May 7, 2014
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Radiation Oncology 48 years experience
Need to know: smoking status; size of nodule. If this is your first CT, it is called a prevalence scan. I'll bet the "nodule" is less than 5 mm. NLST and I-ELCAP find that only 1 in 10 of these and larger in former smokers are cancer. Younger female non-smokers have some chance of a "genetic cancer". Many view intervention now has more risk than gain. If it were me, I would wait the 3 months and re-scan.
Dr. Barry Sheppard
Thoracic Surgery 35 years experience
What is nodule size?: What makes you "very high risk"? What to do instead of waiting? Nothing. Trust the screening process. In screening studies10% of everyone screened has a non-calcified nodule but only 1% will have a lung cancer. Small nodules (> benefit
Dr. Mark Soberman
Surgery - Thoracic 39 years experience
What is your age, smoking history and size of nodule?
Aug 7, 2014
Last updated Mar 22, 2020


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