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Scared to death

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I recently had a CT scan due to reoccurring bronchitis. They found a "tiny subtle 3 mm pulmonary nodule within the left lower lobe at the left lung" There are no other nodules, masses or infiltrates. There is no evidence of pleural effusion or pleural thickening. I'm assuming the later part is good news. To me any nodule where it is not suppose has me worried. I am a 5 yr smoker. I am trying to stop. The scan also said "there is a 8 mm right hilar lymph node node which is non specific from the CT size criteria. No significant mediastinal or hilar adenopathy is evedent. Cardiac and vascular structures are intact. No adrenal masses are evident. I've also had pain down my left arm from my shoulder down my arm and numbness in my fingers. This all has me very worried. Is the hilar lymph node related to the breast or lungs? I had a mammogram that day as well, but didn't get those results back yet. What are the chances of this being cancer? Any help would be appreciated.

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replied April 10th, 2011
These nodules are considered to be non-specific, due to their small size. You should have another CT scan performed in about 6 months, to see if they are enlarging.

These tiny lung nodules are not likely to be causing your shoulder/arm/finger pain (this is more likely to be a problem within your cervical spine, in your neck).

Hilar lymph nodes are the lymph nodes inside the chest, and are related to your lungs.

If you are worried about developing lung cancer, then it goes without saying that you should immediately and permanently stop smoking.


Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS

Author, "A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race"

A landmark, evidence-based guide to a healthy cancer-prevention lifestyle, based on cutting-edge cancer research.
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