Suspicious Density Could Be Due To Cold

After George’s surgery was well done, I went to see my oncologist to discuss the results of the CT scan.

Looking at me who was disturbed by the report which found a suspicious density in a lymph node, George said not to react too soon without listening to the doctor.

I have wondered how we could deny the word “suspicious”, but surprisingly the doctor told me this could be due to a cold instead of cancer.

Size Of Lymph Node

 According to the doctor, usually a size of a lymph node is less than 1cm.  If it is bigger than 1cm, it is considered abnormal and called lymphadenopathy.  Yet lymphadenopathy doesn’t always mean cancer.

When I had the CT scan, I had a bad cold.  I might have had even a fever.  As I asked the technician if a specialist could identify cancer even though I had a cold, he said yes.  So, I didn’t think there would be confusion.  Yet, the doctor told me a lymph node could become bigger by inflammation, and because other findings were stable, the suspicious density could be by inflammation.

I remember that a pathology report after the mastectomy in 2010 said that 13 out of 21 lymph nodes were cancerous up to 12mm.  There were cancerous lymph nodes that were less than 1cm.  The size is not enough to determine if a lymph node is cancerous, but without biopsy, the size is the only clue to detect cancer in imaging tests.

  Subcentimeter, No Significant, and Stable Are All Positive Words

When I received the previous CT result, I was disappointed with the word, “stable”, thinking that means the cancer is still there and no change.  Yet as the doctor explained to me that there was no significant lymphadenopathy, I got excited.

This time I saw the description as “subcentimeter lymph nodes.” Though it is so confusing to understand such medical terminology, now I’ve learned that if a lymph node is subcentimeter, it is considered as not significant for adenopathy and being “stable” is the best result I could ever expect.

So what should I do with this “suspicious” lymph node?

Having a PET scan is another option to clarify, but as long as I am coughing, I may wind up to have the same result as the CT.  The doctor suggested to wait for another two months and have a CT again.  Meanwhile I will stay on the same regimen.

Even if this is truly cancer, she thinks two months is not too long to adjust the treatment.

My concerns about cancer coming back or how to change the regimen will be  on the shelf until the next CT.  I was not sure if that’s a good idea or not, but the doctor’s smile relieved me from the tension gradually.

After the meeting, I got hungry all of sudden. As 10 am was too early for sushi, I stopped at a Japanese bakery.  A pastry and coffee with George were just so good! 🙂


One thought on “Suspicious Density Could Be Due To Cold

  1. Breathe a little easier and enjoy the holidays – each moment, each person.
    Many, many people care about you – what a gift! Thanks for Dr. Lou and the radiologists and for all the RN’s who care. God IS Good – all the time!

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