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CT SCAN SCARES

Forums General Melanoma Community CT SCAN SCARES

  • Post
    kevinod50
    Participant

    Hi,

    I am new to the board and was diagnosed with 3a melanoma last year.  I am currently on month 9 of Interefron.  Last week my quarterly CT scan showed a new nodule in my lung.  It measured 2.3 mm.  Not on previous scans.  Oncologist recommends re-scan in 2-3 months.  He alos said that these things happen "all the time" and he is not particularly worried about mets.  Has anyone else had a similar experience with CT false positives?  Also, want to know how it was handled…thanks!

     

    Kevin O'Donnell

    Hi,

    I am new to the board and was diagnosed with 3a melanoma last year.  I am currently on month 9 of Interefron.  Last week my quarterly CT scan showed a new nodule in my lung.  It measured 2.3 mm.  Not on previous scans.  Oncologist recommends re-scan in 2-3 months.  He alos said that these things happen "all the time" and he is not particularly worried about mets.  Has anyone else had a similar experience with CT false positives?  Also, want to know how it was handled…thanks!

     

    Kevin O'Donnell

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  • Replies
      FormerCaregiver
      Participant

      Welcome to our group. Sorry to read that the latest CT scan has found a new nodule in your
      lung. What did the previous CT show?

      I haven't heard of anyone having a false positive scan, but it is always possible. Routine
      scans for melanoma include CT and PET scans. Perhaps a PET scan would be a good idea at
      the moment.

      I suspect that your oncologist thinks that the 2.3 mm met is very small, and he is waiting
      to see if it will increase or decrease in size over the next 2-3 months.

      Frank from Australia

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      FormerCaregiver
      Participant

      Welcome to our group. Sorry to read that the latest CT scan has found a new nodule in your
      lung. What did the previous CT show?

      I haven't heard of anyone having a false positive scan, but it is always possible. Routine
      scans for melanoma include CT and PET scans. Perhaps a PET scan would be a good idea at
      the moment.

      I suspect that your oncologist thinks that the 2.3 mm met is very small, and he is waiting
      to see if it will increase or decrease in size over the next 2-3 months.

      Frank from Australia

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      Jaime.30
      Participant

      Hello!  My husband is stage IIIA and he has had SEVERAL scares.  Has had to had several needle biobsies for large nodes and he even had a crainotomy because an MRI showed a cluster of small METS that turned out not to be melanoma at all!!  It was a bit of inflammation from the radiation he had.  His primary was on his ear and his positive node was in the spit gland.  The negative lymph nodes were seen on the CT scan.  We freaked out the first few scares but now we try our very best not to worry about it until it is confirmed Melanoma.  Good luck and I sincerely hope that this is just a scare and all is well!! Take care.

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      Jaime.30
      Participant

      Hello!  My husband is stage IIIA and he has had SEVERAL scares.  Has had to had several needle biobsies for large nodes and he even had a crainotomy because an MRI showed a cluster of small METS that turned out not to be melanoma at all!!  It was a bit of inflammation from the radiation he had.  His primary was on his ear and his positive node was in the spit gland.  The negative lymph nodes were seen on the CT scan.  We freaked out the first few scares but now we try our very best not to worry about it until it is confirmed Melanoma.  Good luck and I sincerely hope that this is just a scare and all is well!! Take care.

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      Jerry from Cape Cod
      Participant

      Non cancerous lung nodules are "common"  As are infections and small pneumonias. All present much the same as a cancerous growth.  I think your doctor is using reasonable care in waiting for the next scans especially if they are in an area that a fine needle biopsy is not feasable.  FNB's also have a high rate of "misses"

      My doctors and I waited nearly 12 months before taking action on one stubborn lung mass.  Turned out it was responding and receeding, but there was infection and necrosis that the CT identified as part of the mass.  In any event in my case it had to come out because of damage to a primary airway.

      It's hard to sit and wait those months, but it really is the most practical solution.

      Jerry from Cape Cod

      Stage IV, NEM 32 days but who's counting!

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      Jerry from Cape Cod
      Participant

      Non cancerous lung nodules are "common"  As are infections and small pneumonias. All present much the same as a cancerous growth.  I think your doctor is using reasonable care in waiting for the next scans especially if they are in an area that a fine needle biopsy is not feasable.  FNB's also have a high rate of "misses"

      My doctors and I waited nearly 12 months before taking action on one stubborn lung mass.  Turned out it was responding and receeding, but there was infection and necrosis that the CT identified as part of the mass.  In any event in my case it had to come out because of damage to a primary airway.

      It's hard to sit and wait those months, but it really is the most practical solution.

      Jerry from Cape Cod

      Stage IV, NEM 32 days but who's counting!

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      Janner
      Participant

      If you search on this board or in the archives, you'll find that benign lung nodules are quite common.  And repeat scans after an interval are typically the standard of care. 

      My father has lung cancer.  It was just one small tumor.  However, he has many other granulomas that they monitor.  None have changed over the years.  The lung tumor got larger which is why it was biopsied/radiated.  His other nodules are just monitored but not considered worrisome.

      Sometimes, the CT scan can miss things that were there before.  CTs scan things in slices – say 3mm slices or 5mm slices.  Depending on how large the nodules are they are looking at, it could be missed in one scan but seen in another that just slices across a different plane.

      It's hard not to panic, but it does seem like your doctor is following the general protocol for something like this.

      Best wishes,

      Janner

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      Janner
      Participant

      If you search on this board or in the archives, you'll find that benign lung nodules are quite common.  And repeat scans after an interval are typically the standard of care. 

      My father has lung cancer.  It was just one small tumor.  However, he has many other granulomas that they monitor.  None have changed over the years.  The lung tumor got larger which is why it was biopsied/radiated.  His other nodules are just monitored but not considered worrisome.

      Sometimes, the CT scan can miss things that were there before.  CTs scan things in slices – say 3mm slices or 5mm slices.  Depending on how large the nodules are they are looking at, it could be missed in one scan but seen in another that just slices across a different plane.

      It's hard not to panic, but it does seem like your doctor is following the general protocol for something like this.

      Best wishes,

      Janner

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      King
      Participant

      Hi Kevin,

       

      Yes, I had the same thing happen about 2 years into my melanoma journey.  A lung nodule showed up on a routine CT scan that had not been there before.  I think it was about 4mm…I'd have to look back to get the exact size.  My oncologist was not overly concerned and said that it would be monitored on routine scans (I was on a 3 month scan schedule).  That was about 5 years ago.  The nodule is still there, still the same size,  A couple of scans after it was first seen and since there was no change, my oncologist said it was benign.  Since then I've had a couple of other very small ones show up in my lungs…again, no changes on follow-up scans.

      It is important to have scans done at the same facility and to be sure that the radiologist compares findings to other scans.  Benign lung nodules are very common findings.

      Honestly, I wouldn't waste any time worrying about this at this time.

      Nine months of Interferon…..congratulations!  That's not easy.  I did the 12 months back in 2004-2005.

       

      Stay Strong
      King

      Stage IV 7/05 Liver mets

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      King
      Participant

      Hi Kevin,

       

      Yes, I had the same thing happen about 2 years into my melanoma journey.  A lung nodule showed up on a routine CT scan that had not been there before.  I think it was about 4mm…I'd have to look back to get the exact size.  My oncologist was not overly concerned and said that it would be monitored on routine scans (I was on a 3 month scan schedule).  That was about 5 years ago.  The nodule is still there, still the same size,  A couple of scans after it was first seen and since there was no change, my oncologist said it was benign.  Since then I've had a couple of other very small ones show up in my lungs…again, no changes on follow-up scans.

      It is important to have scans done at the same facility and to be sure that the radiologist compares findings to other scans.  Benign lung nodules are very common findings.

      Honestly, I wouldn't waste any time worrying about this at this time.

      Nine months of Interferon…..congratulations!  That's not easy.  I did the 12 months back in 2004-2005.

       

      Stay Strong
      King

      Stage IV 7/05 Liver mets

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