multiple pulmonary nodules
I have been diagnosed with multiple pulmonary nodules. There are 4 of them and the largest is 7mm at it's largest. They are in the upper lobe. I have been advised by my pulmonary specialist that he is "99%" sure it is not cancer and to follow up with another CT scan in 3 months. He thinks it is histoplasmosis.
After reading what I believe to be every single thing on the internet about these nodules I am not convinced it isn't cancer. I have 30 years of smoking under my belt. I had no symptoms, I requested the scan as I heard it would detect cnacer early enough to possibly treat it. Now I have wheezing, a cough, tightness in my chest, and just about every other symptom associated with cancer. I am literally driving myself crazy.
Has anyone had experience with multiple nodules on the lung? I appreciate any input.
Try to not drive yourself crazy. . . Multiple nodules in the lung are very suspect for histo (and a few other things like TB, sarcoidosis, cocccidiomycosis, silicosis) but that is not to say that cancer should be completely ruled out with your smoking history. The thing is, how do you biopsy every nodule? If one is cancer, what if you don't biopsy that one.
Has your doctor given you a bronchoscopy to go down in your lung with a scope for a look and to take a few swabs of the suspected histo? Maybe suggest this to them and I am sure they can refer you to a pulmonologist to do it. I would think they would want to CONFIRM that it is histo so that they can actually treat you based on evidence-based medicine.
It would seem the second best thing to do is to watch the nodules very closely for growth over time. With a diagnosis of histo, you can get treatement for it but it is not fun. The treatment amphotericin is known as "amphoterrible" for a reason. BUT, raging cases of histoplasmosis can spread to the brain and it can be as lethal as lung cancer.
Maybe since your doctor is not being very aggressive with working you up for a diagnosis and is pulling a "watch and wait" on you, you may want to get a second opinion at a different hopsital.
And this would be an excellent time to stop smoking if you haven't already. Regardless of what those nodules are, you can bet that smoking is not helping your lung function.
Keep us posted on the outcome of this if you don't mind.
multiple pulmonary nodules
Thank you Isidella for your response. I have been going to a pulmonary specialist. I actually had my 3 month follow up CT scan last week and got the results today. I think that is why I was so anxious and posted here because it was so close. Sorry I didn't mention that but wanted responses other than wait until tomorrow to see what the doctor says.
It came back fine. The nodules are stable and calcified. Being a 30 year smoker I guess I lucked out this time. But knowing how I felt when I was diagnosed I hope if someone reading this that is going through the same thing it helps to calm your fears a little. I'm not saying that it can't be cancer. All I am saying is that it is very possible that it is not even if you are a smoker. I hope anyone going through this is as fortunate as I was and I do think this will be what it takes to finally make me stop.