2 separate cancers removed, afraid another one is growing

I had two wedges removed ( 2 lesions that were on CT scan) from upper rt lobe - on PET scan only one appeared to be cancer, but turned out both were separate cancers. Now I noticed that on that same CT scan there was a much smaller lesion in my lower rt lobe that was not removed. I am afraid this might be cancerous. The surgeon said not to worry and we'd be doing another CT scan 6 months from my surgery. But I am worried! What if it's cancer growing inside of me? I have read that some people get lots of little Stage 1 tumors.

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Mhc39 - So sorry to hear of our fearfulness, but be strong and be tough. You can get through this. I had a lesion removed from my right upper lobe in 2011 and then two brain surgeries. If the doc is not worried, you should not panic. Sometimes there are things that show up on the scans after surgeries that are related to prior surgery and have nothing to do with new cancer. Be patient . Live your life, day to day and when the new scan takes place then you can discuss results with the doctor. Stay strong and be well.

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The lesion I am referring to was on the CT scan before the surgery. It was in a different lobe than where they removed the two lesions. And it was something that wasn't there on the CT the year before.

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Why not get a copy of the CT scan and ask for a printed copy. See if it's mentioned on there. I get copies of all my scans even tried looking at one on my home comp, couldn't figure out what was going on. But I get them to print out the report which is usually at the end of the films. What were the two cancers?Take care, Judy

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How big was it? A lot of us have residual nodules, and yes they might some day prove problematic, but then again they might not. I just had to wrap my brain around multiple freckles on my latest scan, but I had a doctor say it could be decades before they are clinically significant, even if they are cancers, so just keep watching.

I wouldn't not worry just because a doctor says not to (because I have had doctors be wrong). Instead, I would gather all your info and assess it and then decide how much worry it warrants and then make sure you get all your scans on a timely basis. And depending on the size and type of nodule, I would consider getting your follow up scans every three months for the first couple times, then stretch it out once you know the nodule's behavior.

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I do have copies of all my scans. My lung surgeon seems adamant about waiting 6 months from my surgery for the next scan. I have also e-mailed my oncologist to get his opinion and I am seeing a pulmonologist next week. Both cancers were adenocarcinomas but I was told that they are two separate cancers, one predominantly papillary type (0.8cm) and the other predominatly lepidic type (0.6cm). And the smaller one did not light up on the PET scan. That's why I'm worried about the third nodule that is 3mm. (the one that was not removed during surgery)

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So those are small, and the lepidic tends to be slow growing. Mine was a combo of lepidic and papillary and it didn't grow in 13 months of watching. Lepidic ones tend not to light up a PET, and if you had only had a 6mm lepidic nodule they might have watched it a lot longer before surgery.

So now you have a 3mm nodule. At 3mm there is nothing to do. Way too small to biopsy. This is the situation I am in. I have a 4mm ggo and a number of 2mm nodules scattered through my lungs. There is a good chance that some of that is nothing significant (scarring, inflammation, etc.). But, since I have had cancer, there is also the chance that this is more cancer in its infancy. The take away message I was given was not to worry, but continue surveillance. I was told that even if it is cancer in its infancy, it could be decades before it is clinically significant, since i have a history of lepidic adeno. I'm scanning at 6 month intervals, and there has been negligible change.

Once you have another scan under your belt, you will have a better sense of if this is growing or not. I would ask your onc for a scan at 3 or 4 months, just to establish this baseline interval of behavior. My surgeon always said annual scans, and my onc and pulm disagreed and said every 6 months. They are the ones you have the ongoing relationship with. My surgeon was out of the picture after the post op appt. so I ignored his recommendation.

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Thank you, Frangiapiani. I really know very little about this stuff. Sounds like I don't have to worry right now.

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I would say don't worry if you have two snapshots in time and it hasn't changed. I haven't pieced everything together in your timeline. If this has only showed up on one scan so far, insist on another at 3 months and if no change don't worry, just watch it closely. If you already have it on two scans with no change, I think I would be OK waiting six months.

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It only showed up on one CT scan, in October. The surgeon wants to do the next CT scan 6 months from the surgery, which would be mid May. Good to hear that if it didn't light up on the PET scan it's a slower growing cancer, if I understand you correctly. I will be seeing a new pulmonologist on Wednesday so I will discuss this with him.
Am also having a terrible time with coughing. Now, I think I might also have a cold, since the cough seems to more productive. The muscles in my back are killing me from all the coughing. It's very hard to sleep through the night.

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Hi Mhc39:

I have to agree with Frangipani. I have 6 nodules in both lungs. One of them, which is 2.2 cm, is cancer and I'm scheduled for SBRT radiation next week to hopefully kill it.

But the other nodules are too small to worry about. I've been going crazy worrying about them for the past three months, when I was first diagnosed. But I've asked three doctors now and they all said there's nothing they can do except watch them.

I was told that anything less than 1 cm is too small to biopsy so there's no way to know whether the other 5 nodules in my lungs are cancer. Most of them are 5-6mm. So, I'm taking supplements, drinking wheatgrass and trying to stay healthy so even if my other nodules are cancer - they won't grow.

I already had a lobetmy (sp?) in 2009, when I had a 2.5 cm nodule in my lower left lung. I had that lobe removed and was told the other nodules were "an old fungus."

Well, apparently one of those nodules has now turned into cancer. So, it's very worrisome for me but I'm trying to just live one day at a time.

Take care,
Randie

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Hi Randie,
Know what you're going through. So, they decided to use radiation this time instead of removing it? My oncologist assures me that if they go in and remove the cancer it's 100% cure rate because they're watching so closely. Btw, I had two wedge resections, so I'd have more lung left. Have you discussed that?
Good luck in whatever you decide.
What supplements are you taking?

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Hi Mhc39:

I did have the choice between surgery or radiation but I chose radiation because I'm worried about losing too much lung function.

Besides, the radiation will be easier. The recovery won't be as harsh. Unfortunately, I can't have a wedge resection because the tumor is right smack in the middle of the lung. They said if I had surgery they would have to remove the entire lobe. And, since I already had one lobe removed, I felt like that would be too much.

By the way, I was also told that a wedge resection is more risky. That you have a greater chance of the cancer returning because there may still be a few cancer cells circulating in the lung.

Anyway, I am FINALLY starting to wrap my head around the fact that I'm going to have to live with these nodules and if I keep my immune system strong and pray A LOT - then hopefully they won't grow into cancer.

As far as supplements, I'm taking
B6
CQ10
Poly MVA
selenium
Vitamin E
Vitamin C - 5,000 - 8,000 mg per day
Vitamin D - 6,000 - 8,000 per day
Fish Oil
Calicum
Daily Vitamin
IP 6 & Inositol (Excellent for the immune system)
wheatgrass - 2 oz per day

I've also eliminated sugar from my diet except for what's in carbs. I eat a balanced diet - I just don't eat cookies, cake, candy, etc.

Take care,
Randie

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Wow, thanks Randie. Did you see someone to get this particular regimen? Sounds like a lot. I take multi, calcium, magnesium, fish oil now.
Good luck with the radiation. How many treatments do you have to do?

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Hi MHC39

Yes, I did see an integrative medical doctor in 2010, after my lobecomy (sp) who told me about the IP-6 & Inositol. That's an excellent supplement. It boosts your natural killer cells - you should Google it.

Then in November 2012, I went back to the same integrative medical clinic but am seeing another doctor this time. She recommended the Poly MVA, which is suppose to kill cancer cells and upping my Vit. D.

Everything else I just did myself. I started taking a lot of Vit. C after my first cancer. I buy the 1,000 mg tablets and try to take 5-10 per day. I basically pop them all day.

Thanks for the well wishes. I start the radiation on Monday. I have 5 treatments of the SBRT radiation, ending on Friday. I'm nervous and am especially worried about losing more lung function. But I also want to kill the cancer.

Keep in touch.
Randie

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Good luck, Randie. And thanks for the help.

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Thanks! Stay in touch!

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How are the treatments going? Just one more treatment, right?

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Hi Mhc39:

I just finished my SBRT radiation yesterday. It's amazing that you can get that much radiation and not feel it!

Anyway, I'm fine, although I may be coming down with a cold. The doctors said I could still experience some side effects two weeks down the road because the radiation stays in your system.

The only bad thing is that I won't know whether it worked for 3 months or longer. So, I'll just have to pray that it did work.

How are you? How was your visit to the pulmonologist? Has your cough subsidized? When I had my surgery in 2009, I had a cough for 3 months. You might try IP-6 & Inositol. That really helped my cough.

Take care,
Randie

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My cough is almost gone. Of course, I am on Spiriva and Symbecort. I never had to use any medication before the surgery. I am seeing my pulmonologist next week and hopefully he will take me off one of them. I don't like the written side effects - especially the symbecort, which talks about thrush and bone loss. My big problem is back muscle pain. My chest muscles all feel tight but there is this one area on the opposite side of my surgery that cramps up all the time. Don't know what to do.
I am glad you're through your radiation. I guess you have a CT scan in 3 months to see how you're doing? Hopefully, your cold won't last long or maybe it'll never develop. Good to hear from you.

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Hi Mhc39:

I'm glad your cough is almost gone. I also had pain under my arm and back after my surgery. I think the pain lasted 6-8 weeks - maybe longer. I can't remember when your surgery was but I'm sure the pain will subside. I wasn't given the same medication as you, though. I just had Tylenol 3. Anyway, I hope you feel better soon.
I think I avoided the cold I was beginning to get with lots of sleep and Vitamin C.
I actually requested a CT scan in March, even though they don't think anything will change that quickly. I just didn't want to wait til May.
So we'll see.
Have a good night.

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