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Topic: Can a lung CT miss BC?

Forum: Not Diagnosed but Worried —

Meet others worried about developing breast cancer for the first time. PLEASE DO NOT POST PICTURES OF YOUR SYMPTOMS. Comparing notes, symptoms, or characteristics is not helpful here, as only medical professionals can accurately evaluate and assess your individual situation.

Posted on: Sep 13, 2017 11:08AM

Mignon wrote:

Hi all,

I have just joined because I am worried. I am 34 and I have an appointment tmrw morning at a Breast Clinic. My GP has referred me after I discovered about a week ago an indent or dimple on my right breast on the lateral/outer side. When I felt it I could feel a hard lump underneath that is about an inch long and doesn't move. The GP examined me and saw the indent and felt the lump.

However, the GP more or less told me it was nothing, because I have recently had a chest CT due to pneumonia I had last year in the other side of my chest. The problem is that the GP had no way of accessing that scan (due to the scan being done under a different hospital trust). He told me however that the radiologist would've picked up a tumour or enlarged lymph nodes. So, I'm going back to that same hospital tmrw (the GP organised it so they could access the chest CT scan too) to have some tests.

My lymph nodes are fine, I have no nipple discharge or redness/any other symptoms, just the indentation and this lump, which I now can't believe I hadn't noticed! It might be my imagination but I can feel it so clearly now, as can my boyfriend/best friend/GP. So I don't know what to think. If the lump is there it must be something, so is it possible that the radiologist missed something during my CT? I guess if they were checking lung tissue on the opposite side of my chest then they might have missed the lump?

I feel like this is silly to ask this now as I will know more tmrw morning, but I am worried and interested to know if anyone has had a similar experience? The waiting is hard. I start a new job on Monday and I really don't want this hanging over me.

Any input is appreciated.

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Sep 13, 2017 01:02PM djmammo wrote:


A CT of the chest is set up for evaluation of the lungs and mediastinum. If a breast tumor is large enough and/or surrounded by fat it may be seen on a chest CT as an "incidental finding" but if small and in dense tissue it may not, and that would not be the fault of the reader. It should however pick up enlarged lymph nodes in the axilla (provided they were included in the scanning area) and certainly should show them inside the chest especially if it was done with IV contrast. It might be worth going back to see the CT images for academic reasons but it would not rule out a mass if it is negative and breast imaging would still be indicated for your symptoms.

Board Certified Diagnostic Radiologist specializing in Breast Imaging helping members understand their health care provider's reports and recommendations.
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Sep 13, 2017 04:35PM Mignon wrote:

Thank you for your response, that is helpful. I am having ultrasound and a mammogram tomorrow I think, and they will also be able to revisit the CT (it was done with contrast) while I'm there.

I feel at least a bit comforted by the fact that my lymph nodes are apparently ok.

Thanks again.

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