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Incidental finding in lung


Hi all, thanks in advance for your comments. I just had a heart calcium score done and the CT scan found “atelectasis/consolidation” in my lower right lung. The scan notes did say that “no determinant mass or suspicious nodes are seen.” However, I cannot figure out why this has happened to my lower lung. I do have seasonal allergies, but they haven’t seemed that severe. So for now, I’m doing a round of antibiotics and will do a chest X-ray in a couple of weeks. I hope this is just an infection of some sort but I’m worried since I had HER+. I’m worried something sinister is hiding in there…..thanks for letting me vent..I don’t want to tell my family yet until I know for sure if it’s a recurrence.

At least my calcium score was zero :)


  • sarahmaude
    sarahmaude Member Posts: 338
    edited June 2022

    Hi Wanda1978, don’t you just hate reading lab/test results that don’t come with an answer key? I’d never heard of atelectasis before. I did a few minutes of reading, and from what I saw, it doesn’t look like it should be an indication of cancer. From a Mayo Clinic link:

    “Anesthesia's effect on the lungs causes almost everyone who undergoes surgery to have some atelectasis. Inhaled objects, asthma, and other lung diseases and injuries also can cause atelectasis.

    There may be no obvious symptoms of atelectasis. When symptoms occur, they may include trouble breathing, cough, and low-grade fever.

    Treatments include breathing exercises, medications, and surgery.”

    It sounds as if the antibiotics and a follow up are very reasonable steps. It certainly is always more anxiety triggering to see anything abnormal once we’ve experienced BC. I hope the meds and follow up resolve any remaining worries about this finding.

  • dulcea
    dulcea Member Posts: 148
    edited June 2022

    Hi Wanda,

    I am dealing with the same thing. Mine was found a few days after my mastectomy (May 2021) when I was readmitted to the hospital and they did a CT. Mine is big and upper right which is the same area my bigger tumor was found so that makes me think metastasis. I have had two follow up CT scans since then and all seems to be very stable. Differential diagnoses are infection, scarring (atelectasis), or neoplasm. The latest CT scan rather confirmed scarring but suggests I still have low dose CT scans yearly. I meet with the pulmonary doctor next week to discuss that further. I did have Covid February 2021 and double pneumonia about ten years ago and they think it may be scarring due to either of those. Having had breast cancer though, it makes me worry still. My mother also had breast cancer and lung cancer. BUT! I try not to worry until someone tells me to.

    Hang in there. They will probably suggest a follow up scan to check everything is stable. Congrats on your calcium!

  • Wanda1978
    Wanda1978 Member Posts: 2
    edited July 2022

    Thanks for your responses Sarahmaude and dulcea. Just to follow up, I did 2 rounds so antibiotics and had a new scan today and my lung has cleared. Thank goodness!

    Dulcea, how are you doing?