pulmonary nodule after lung cancer

Hi, I'm a stage 1A lung cancer survivor. Surgery to remove upper right lobe 3 years ago. Last week at 3 year post-op checkup the surgeon said there was a very small (6 mm) nodule on my left lung and said not to worry. of course i'm worried. all research i've done gives a high probability of a reoccurence. Anyone with another nodule after a few years and what was diagnosis and/or prognosis. It's a shock to discover you have lung cancer at all, but then to worry about a reoccurence forever? Any comments are appreciated. Thanks.

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I am sorry you found this ot at your 3 year mark.Is your doctor going to monitor it or remove it? If it was me, I would want it biopsied and or removed.


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Hi, I was just dx'd 1a adeno LC last Aug. I also had a lobectomy & am very worried about recurrence. What does your surgeon plan to do? It's probably too small to do a needle biopsy. Will you have a PET scan?

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"Not to worry" was what the captain of the Titanic said, too!
Yeah, too small for a FNA. What's the plan? and if he said wait & watch, get another opinion.


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I agree with previous posts ask your Dr for a pet scan to see if you have any uptake, and it's probably to small to get a biopsy. My case RLL cancer and I have had a 4mm nodule in the upper rt lobe for over 6 years now with no change. Try not to worry, I worried with mine but with no changes I let a lot of the worry go. All lung nodules that appear are not a reoccurence of LC. The standard is to get another scan in 3 months to check for any changes. Take care.


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I had nodules in both lungs since dx and none have ever changed. Very small and checked on every scan. It will probably be wait and watch for another 3 months and scan again to see if it's growing. Wishing you the best. Take care, Judy

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Yes it can have a reoccurence. I've had 2, each 6 yrs. apart. Your's being so small means, "IF" it's cancer, you've caught it very, very early & have an excellent prognosis. I'm sure they'll watch it & "IF" it grows, when it's big enough they'll biopsy to find out what it is. If it is, chances are it will be 1A again, which gives you good odds.

Wishing you the best of luck !! Andy

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I have had a 4 mm nodule sitting in my upper right lobe for several years, and it does nothing but sit there.

Sometimes we do get a benign tumor that could be from some scar tissue from bronchitis. If it does not grow, don't worry about it.

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I had a small nodule show up at my 1 year scan. My doctor told me the same thing, Don't worry. Not easy to do. He said they will keep an eye on it and it is common for people, especially over the age of 50 to have nodules. He said if you scan everyone in the world, 50 percent of people over the age of 50 will have benign nodules in the lung. I'm not 50 yet, but pretty close. I had my upper left lobe removed, and the nodule was found in lower right. Good Luck and although it is easier said then done, try not too worry.

Take Care,

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I would also get it checked out.
Here is a link to an archived webinar on managing lung nodules:

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Do you know if it was there on previous scans? Yes it is small, but I know people who had 7 and 8 mm nodules resected, so it is not that far off. But there are lots of people, as well, who are told at a check up that they have nodules, and they come to find out that the nodule was there before but nobody had mentioned it at previous scans. If it was there or slightly smaller, I would be comfortable waiting three months. If this growth was all in the past six months, personally, I would cheat and have my next scan in two months.

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I would not sit and wait...my mother had adeno stage 1b in 1998 and her left lung was removed..cured...then a small nodule showed up a few years later in her remaining lung it grew slightly and stopped at 1.3cm..in 2008 she was dignosed with extra pulmonary small cell cancer- limited(it was called that because it was actually in the base of her tongue)...radiation and chemo pronounced cured again by doctors.......then because my mother was in a weakened state, not eating enough(the dr did advise those loaded with sugar energy drinks)...that small nodule doctors said not to worry about( it had been there 7 years without growing) blew up, started growing again and she was staged 3b squamous, she passed 4 months later.......my point is I believe drs are always looking for steady growth..then its cancer..that is not always true as in my mothers case...I would like to point out that after her surgery in 1998 and the 2008 diagnosis she ate very well including broccoli every single day! Something to think about....best of luck...dawn

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TY NetSurvivor, that was very informative. On my 3rd scan since my lower right lobe lobectomy a 5mm lung nodule was found in my lower left lobe. I will have a scan at the end of April and that will be 3 months from the prior one.

It said that with the new technology that nodules will be found in everyone, so new ways to follow the spn will be put in place eventually. Lori

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by dear inspire family. thanks for all the input. i will call the dr. tomorrow to get a pet scan or make an apt. 3 months instead of 6 months.

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Findings on CT are often described as ground-glass opacities. Ground-glass infiltrates may be a sign of pulmonary infection, fibrosis or otherwords radiation-induced lung injury. If they change from ground-glass to solid, it would be of further concern.

Solid nodules appear as pretty uniformly white on a CT, while those that are just hazy clouds are called ground-glass opacities. In between is a nodule that appears to have areas of non-solid haziness next to other areas that are solid. These are called semi-solid nodules or opacities. Patients with the highest risk of a nodule being cancer are the ones with a semi-solid nodule.

CT's that show focal nodules of ground-glass attenuation seem very much like standard NSCLC. A bronchioloalveolar carcinoma frequently mimics the findings of pulmonary infections leading to further diagnostic confusion. Nodules typically have a focal ground-glass attenuation. A biopsy can rule out anything conclusive.

A friend had stage 3a NSCLC in 2003. Three years after a left upper lobectomy and spot (focal) radiation, he had a pulmonary nodule. The local community medical oncologists wanted to go after him with chemotherapy. He went back to the teaching institution he had the surgery at and had it extensively checked out. He let it be. That was six years ago. He has more problems with the side effects overaggressive radiation at the local community hospital than with anything else. Best of luck!


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The doctor says that the nodule is too small for a biopsy now and no need for extra pain if the nodule is benign so will scan it again in August. My PET scan for the first nodule stated that it was highly unlikely that the nodule was cancer because it didn't register high activity. However, the first nodule was cancer so not sure if the PET scan route is appropriate at this stage either. I think I will just call the dr. and ask for a repeat scan in 3 months versus 6. Thanks again to my Inspire Family. My prayers are with all of you always.

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