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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 31141
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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I just got a PET scan back on an irregular upper left lung

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I just got a PET scan back on an irregular upper left lung nodule and they said it was abnormal and I need a biopsy. I don't think anything else lit up but the nodule. Is there a difference between them telling me it is abnormal instead of cancerous...or is abnormal just the term the use for both?
Hi--why did you have the PET scan done? Do you know how large the nodule is and do you know what the doctor meant by abnormal?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The nurse called and said it was abnormal and I need a biopsy...that was it. I am changing doctors at this point because I am not happy, but just wonder if abnormal is basically a definite for cancer or still a suspicion.

OK. Of course you need to speak to your doctor himself and not just to his nurse. Abnormal could have referred to there being a nodule itself and maybe she was just saying that the scan was abnormal for that reason. Then, again, abnormal could be referring to the contour of the nodule--for example, the borders could be irregular and it might not be smooth and perfectly circular. That said, even an irregularly shaped nodule is not a definite cause for a cancer concern, since 95% of solitary lung nodules are benign. I would hope that you'd be referred to a pulmonologist to determine if a biopsy is really necessary since quite often these are just observed with a repeat scan in six months to see if the nodule is stable and hasn't changed in shape or size. For now, the chances are excellent that this isn't cancer, but I can't tell you that there is a zero chance for it's being cancer.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ooops...sent that prematurely. Do you still think it may be negative at biopsy and would pneumonia I had 5-6 months ago show this way on a PET?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry..I messed this up. I had a CT show an irregular nodule and they sent me for PET which showed it was abnormal.

OK--yes this could be just an old grauloma from the pneumonia. I think there's an excellent chance the biopsy, if you have it, will show it's just a granuloma and not cancer
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