Can benign nodule turn out to be cancer?

I had a 1 cm (10mm) nodule on my left lobe. It was found by accident on CT scan after a snowboarding accident. I had a f/u CT 3 mo. later and it had grown to 12.5 mm. I had a biopsy and was told it was benign.
I have ankylosing spondylitis and take Enbryl for it (which has a higher incidence of cancer and TB) so my rheumatologist also ordered multiple cultures/ stains from biopsy to see if it was infectious (TB, etc) or fungal (histoplasmosis, etc), etc. etc.
ALL of these have come back negative!
My next CT scan is scheduled for July 21st.
A week and a half ago I had to have another CT scan after flying off a sea doo. It showed a very slight reduction but my family doctor said that's not actually good news because any possibility other than cancer would not shrink.
My rheumatologist is saying if there is any change in July, He thinks I will probably want to get it removed because a biopsy can take a benign sample and there be a cancerous cell in another part of the nodule...
HAS ANYONE EVER GONE THROUGH THIS???

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If you used different CT scan machines, the difference could be due to the machines themselves - how you were positioned, the angle used, etc. When I was diagnosed first (using regular chest x-ray) they said I had a 2.4 cm tumor. The follow up ct scan indicated it was a 2.0 cm tumor. They cut it out and actually measured it and it turns out it was 1.6 cm.

Now a biopsy may not get the cancer in a mass - it could have missed, but cancers are not known for their ability to get bigger, then smaller, etc. Myh guess - it is the machines. Ask the doctor why this would not be the most parsimonious explanation.

Courage

Chum

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Thanks Chum.
Do you think I should have it out? If it's growing like it has been and they can't find any other reason for it, I'm not sure what to do.
We do have a lot of cancer in our family but not lung cancer that I'm aware of.
I hate to have surgery but I'm not sure I can stand knowing it's there and not know what it is.
I thought the biopsy would be the end of it...

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Have a PET scan and see how high the SUV is. The higher it is, the more likely it's cancer. There are many causes for nodules in the lung including inflammation. Have you taken any antibiotics? Which lobe is it in-upper or lower and positioned where? A biopsy on less than 1 cm can give a false negative. It's best to wait and see if it continues to grow or not as lung cancer doesn't just shrink without treatment.
Ask for the PET and let us know how you make out.
Take care, Judy

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Thanks Judy!
I'm not exactly where it is in the lung. The biopsy needle went through my back right under my bra strap...
It was 1 cm when they did the biopsy but the fact that it had grown so fast in 3 mo. Was of concern to my Dr., so much so that biopsy was done immediately.
When it came back benign I thought that was the end of it because any of the other options would be treated fairly easily ( steroids, antibiotics, etc)
I will definitely ask for any and all tests including PET scan before I do surgery but part of me doesn't want to leave it and wonder/worry, y'know??
I really wish I knew if anyone else has gotten a benign diagnosis and then it turned out to be cancer later on?

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Hello Lynn
As Judy has mentioned, a PET scan will light up the nodule if it cancerous. If you have already had a biopsy and no cancerous cells have been found then this would suggest that it is not cancer. I don't see the need to put yourself up for risky lung surgery to remove a small node that is benign.

I hope you get the answers you need

Sally x

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I'm not saying wait for surgery, ask your doctor for a PET now. Don't even go the surgery route unless you absolutely have to. Take care, Judy

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I have and continue this difficult diagnosis journey for over 6 years- a small 1.7cm ground glass nodule was found in my right lower lobe accidentally as yours was- a few scans later, I was told it was growing so I had a Video Assisted Thoracic surgery for diagnosis to be certain- well it was supposedly removed and the diagnosis was benign scar tissue- Yet here I am facing another lung surgery in 2 weeks because there is a small nodule right next to where the other one was supposedly removed- I was so confused about it all I went for another opinion(both at prestigious Boston area teaching hospitals)- the thoracic team feels that the first surgery left the nodule and removed healthy lung tissue and they are convinced it is a slow growing cancer so it will need to come out for biopsy and the entire lobe will most likely be removed- so yes- what was benign supposedly 6 years ago is now suspected to be cancer tho I won't know until after my surgery- I am sorry to say that the ONLY way to be sure is by removing the nodule from your lung- the anxiety is terrible, and lung surgery is not something I would choose twice if there were another way. A PET can light up for a number of reasons or not - even if it is cancer so you will need to have a tissue biopsy regardless to be sure- I know this is not what you want to hear-

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Actually I think it's exactly what I want to hear because if they have no explanation for it AND it's growing, I'm not sure I can stand waiting and wondering every 3 mo. If it might be cancer this time.

I can't imagine what it must be like to be going for your 2nd surgery and to wonder if they didn't get it the first time. I pray this one goes well and that they get it all.
Thank you for your support!

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Were is it located in your lung. If it is up against the outside they can do a wedge reduction and get it out with little loss tothe lung. The smaller the better for that type. I agree on the pet and maybe another ct guided biopsy is in order. Keep the faith.

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Your rheumatologist is right. A bio is not always accurate, and the tumor marker was negative on my test. 8 months later, stage 3b NSCLC...Take itout if you can. I would want a PET scan. Good advice of here...and I Love them all...Well Wishes, Patches

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Your situation is exactly what I'm concerned about. Thank you for sharing with me. By the way, How are you doing? You will be in my prayers!!!
Thank you so much, Lynn

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Im great. 3yrs post-op. rt lower lobectomy. recovery was not as bad as I thought it would be. Went home on 3rd day. Chemo, radiation not so bad for me either. Wishing you the best, knowing what I know now, I would have seen a surgeon so much sooner. It was the pulomnologist that "said it dosen't look like everyone elses"......Keep me posted, Love Patches

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Hi Lynne,

I had a nodule in my upper right lobe. I didn't even bother to have it biopsy. I went straight to surgery, then had a biopsy of the nodule and it turned out it was a Non-Small Cell, stage 2A, Bronchioloalveolar Carcinoma lung tumor. Get that thing out and if it's benign thank God and if it's malignant at least you have it out of your lung and start treatment.
I'm not a doctor, but, if it were me that's what I would do.

Good luck to you and God Bless,
Alta

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Alta,
Thank you so much! I cannot tell you how glad I am that I found this site because no one else really understands what is going through my mind. I trust the Lord, whatever my circumstances and whatever happens with this, I want to do it well but I don't want to leave it there not knowing for sure what it is. I will be glad for July 21st to get here to see if it's grown any more but I still feel pretty sure that what's best for me is to just get it out.
There just seems to be so many people who have gone through the same thing and it has ended up being cancer.
ALL OF YOU have been so wonderful to support me.
Thank you! thank you! Thank you!.

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GOD BLESS YOU!

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