Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stages I &II Really worried – suspicious chest X-ray

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  • #20597
    cohanja
    Participant

    I had a routine Dr appointment yesterday, did bloodwork, palpated my lymph nodes, etc. . I decided to go ahead and get a chest x-ray done, since I never did from a year ago since my 1A diagnosis (figured get a baseline in case would be useful in the future), even though Dr said isn’t necessary with an early thin lesion like mine, no symptoms, etc.. He called back today and said there are a few spots of concern in the left lung, and he wants me back today for a chest CT with contrast. I’m in shock. I’m shaking. All this time I’ve been hearing 95+% survival rate for 1A lesions like mine, 0.3mm, 0-1 mitosis, radial phase (according to Mihm), no significant regression, no ulceration, negative node biopsy, and now I’ve got a concerning chest x-ray, and they want me back today for CT scan. I don’t know what to think, I feel like this is the beginning of the end and I’m now on a path to the unthinkable. I have young kids, I’m only 38 years old.

    #56310
    wpatterson4
    Participant

    That might not be what this is. Try to keep yourself calm until you know for certain. I hope everything turns out well. I can (or perhaps can’t) imagine your anxiety. Best of luck.

    #56311
    7spider
    Participant

    Hopefully it’s nothing serious. I know it’s hard, but try to stay calm and optimistic. Got you in my prayers.

    #56312
    krissy424
    Participant

    While there are no guarantees in life, the chances the spots seen on your chest film are melanoma are very slim. take a deep breath and try to relax. I understand your panic, but stay calm even if it’s just for your kids sake. Kids can read us like a book. Feeling you will get nothing but good news after further investigation.

    Kris

    #56313
    Worrywart
    Participant

    I am So sorry you are going through this worry, but I’ll say a prayer for you that it is just a false alarm! I cannot tell you how many false alarms I’ve had in my life (either for me, my family or my kids). When my oldest son was 3 he had a strange mass behind his knee. He had it imaged and in the middle of the ultrasound the radiologist actually came into the room and apologized to us, and said he was certain my son had soft tissue sarcoma, a DEADLY cancer. They booked the OR for emergency surgery for 4 days after the ultrasound and scheduled an MRI with contrast that morning to confirm diagnosis. It ended up being benign! I was dx with melanoma a few months after that and I think stress played a role in my melanoma.

    As for your chest xray. I would not think melanoma. I would, personally, worry about other diseases. Are you,or have you ever been a smoker? Remember too that Dr’s have to cover their butts….if they see anything even remotely suspicious it has to be followed up on. Odds are this is a benign finding.

    Thinking of you!

    #56314
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    Chest xrays according to my doc are not how you would diagnose a spread from melanoma. The CT should clear it up, but MANY folks have nodular growths on their lungs found in CT or PET that are not cancer. If you have anti anxiety meds or methods, this is the time to do it until you get the REAL story. Let us know..

    #56315
    cohanja
    Participant

    Thank you to everyone for your responses, this is a great place for a source of comfort and helping me try to keep a cool head. The chest x-ray comment by the radiologist said for someone with a history of melanoma, what was seen was consistent with metastasis. But, then after the CT, the Dr said a really big calcified granuloma (he said in the midwest people get histoplasmosis infections and this is a result of that?). The radiologist comment in the CT scan said it could be confirmed by PET, but the oncologist said he doesn’t think that is necessary. He said if anything, maybe just repeat the chest x ray in 3-6 months to ensure it’s still the same size. But, he said he had 2 different radiologists look to confirm calcified granuloma. So he is not recommending a biopsy (he said probably couldn’t get a needle through it anyway, since it would be hard). I’m relieved, but still a bit confused about the radiologist comment about doing a PET to confirm, and how an x-ray could show something that looks to be metastasis and then a CT says it’s calcified granuloma (he said it’s the biggest granuloma he’s ever seen). Thanks again for the responses, I know this is one place I can always count on when I’m feeling overwhelmed.

    #56316
    barb3246
    Participant

    I’m so happy for you Cohanja!! I would have freaked out if it were me, so your feelings are completely understandable. I would be comfortable with the 2 opinions on your chest CT – a CT is much more accurate than a chest xray. My husband recently had a chest xray and his doctor called us the next morning (on a Saturday – his day off!!) to tell my husband he had a large “mass” in his lung and needed a chest CT right away. Well the CT showed NOTHING! It was a false positive chest xray, no further follow-up needed. So all that worry and stress for nothing!!

    Now go have a nice big glass of wine and relax and get a good night’s sleep!

    Barb

    #56317
    7spider
    Participant

    Glad the tests came back ok and they had a reasonable explanation to what it was. Some of these DRs need to watch what they say to their patients when they are not really sure themself what it is. It causes too much stress and anxiety, and we have plenty of that. Stay strong !

    #56318
    wpatterson4
    Participant

    Great news. I imagine this has been quite a bad day for you. Glad to hear that everything’s ok. I was rather worried about your situation until I read that spots in the lungs are a common, and commonly benign phenomenon. Sorry you had to go through this.

    #56319
    Worrywart
    Participant

    :D

    Great News! I knew it would be benign. Imaging can sometimes ‘open up a can of worms’ simply based on incidental findings. I was referred to a neurologist due to the lesion in the white matter of my brain they found when I had brain MRI last week. I declined. I am sure everyone on earth has a benign thing or two in their body – that is why imaging is not always a good idea!

    Enjoy your night!

    #56320
    cohanja
    Participant

    These are what the results said. I still don’t know what the ” Several tiny noncalcified pulmonary micronodules are identified” part means, though. Even though CT says can be confirmed with PET, the oncologist says not necessary. He said chest x-ray can be repeated in 3-6 months to confirm the nodule that they say is granuloma is still same size.

    X-Ray: FINDINGS: Multiple left lung nodules are noted. The largest is in the left lower lobe measuring 4.7 cm. Additional nodule in the left upper lung measures 0.9 cm. The right lung is clear. There are mild diffuse degenerative changes of the thoracic spine. No focal consolidation is identified.

    IMPRESSION: Multiple left lung nodules are suspicious for metastatic disease in this patient with known melanoma. Further evaluation with a chest CT is recommended.

    CT Scan: No frankly enlarged supraclavicular or axillary lymph nodes are identified. Multiple left hilar and mediastinal calcifications are identified. The lung windows demonstrate multiple calcified pulmonary nodules. The largest is identified in the left lower lobe. It is centrally calcified and measures 3.9 x 2.9 cm in diameter. Several tiny noncalcified pulmonary micronodules are identified. No pleural or

    pericardial effusions are visualized. Multiple calcified mediastinal and left hilar lymph nodes are noted. There are multiple calcifications identified within the pulmonary parenchyma as well which most likely represent large calcified granulomata. Their benign nature could be confirmed with a PET imaging as clinically indicated.

    #56321
    cohanja
    Participant

    Now he says a repeat CT in 3 months would be reasonable – if there’s no growth, it’s not melanoma. Do you think repeat CT in 3 months is more reasonable than a repeat x-ray in 6 months? Is the radiation exposure of any concern? If there is still a possibility this could be something not-benign, it’s safe to wait 3 months to see if there is growth or not? I’m unclear as to whether the radiologist is saying definitevly that this is nothing, or whether there is still a chance it is something.

    #56322
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    These benign nodules are frequently found in these diagnostics and they scare folks. Nodules can form from previous bouts of pneumonia, and various other things. It is often the reason I don’t suggest low risk people have these diagnostics done since they are frightened out of their wits by these results. But I have dealt with a lot of patients over the years who have gone through this and these nodules don’t “turn into something malignant.”

    #56323
    cohanja
    Participant

    Catherine, so would you not even do a 3 month CT again, and just forget about it?

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