2.5cm Lung 'mass'

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My mum has been ill since having covid in September - shortness of breath, tight chest, extreme fatigue and breathlessness. 

Shes been seen by the Rapid Access Chest pain clinic and had a chest x ray in January, which didn't have any findings. 

Shes been diagnosed with severe heart disease and probable Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, for which she is awaiting follow up appointments. Shes been in betablockers and statins for 3 months now, which are helping mildly.

She had a stress MRI test in April and we had a call yesterday to say there was "an incidental non-cardiac finding of a 2.5cm superiour mediastinal mass on the lung. The lung multi disciplinary team will be in touch"

I'm in quite a panic and trying to work out what I can do to help. 

She has a CT scan booked for 8 days time, but I know the results take 2 weeks to come through usually. 

I've asked the hospital if I can have the referral letter, so I can enquire privately for the cost of the CT scan (a local hospital could do it on Monday with immediate results). They can't/wont give me the referral, as its an internal letter.

I'm trying to find any more information about a lung nodule - one that wasn't seen on the chest xray in January, but was detected on the MRI in April. 

Google info has made me panic about timescales and how quickly the nodules can grow. 

My granny had non hodgkins lymphoma and had to have her lung drained. 

Should I just wait and wait and see what the NHS say? I know theyre the best once youre in the departments care, but getting through the admin and long waiting lists, might jeopardise my mums chance of treatment/survivial.

Could anyone offer any advice?

I would obviously rather get in debt and have my mum if i can help in any way.

  • Hi Nooby,

    Welcome to the online community.  My name is Kelly and I’m one of the Cancer Information Nurse Specialists on the Macmillan Support line.

    It sounds like there is a lot to think about especially with the unexpected lung mass detected from the MRI.    It is possible that the mass may not have been present on the chest xray and developed during this time or may only have been visible on the more detailed MRI scan.

     As experienced nurses it’s even difficult for us to guide you on what to expect from this recent result.

    It’s important for the lung specialist team to rule out if the mass is likely to be due to cancer or is benign (non-cancer).  It is sometimes possible for overgrowth of healthy lung tissue to develop into a lump or nodule.

    Just to make you aware there is a NHS Faster Diagnosis Standard target time of 28 days to rule out if any new symptom could be due to cancer or not.  This includes having all tests, results, seen by a consultant and multi-disciplinary team (MDT) meetings.  This may happen quicker if someone is already having tests.

    Waiting for further tests and results can cause a lot of uncertainty, and we’d encourage trying not to google what is happening at this time.  This is because you will be reading a broad spectrum of information about lung mass and nodules which may not reflect your mum’s situation or give the answers you are looking for.

    Although we can understand why you are thinking back to your Granny it doesn’t mean that your mum’s experience will be the same too.

    I wondered if it might help to get back in touch with the Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinic or named consultant who arranged the original tests.  They may be able to give you the name of the respiratory (lung) consultant who your mum has been referred to so you can get in touch with their secretary. 

    They may not have all the answers yet but may be able to offer further guidance with any questions you may have.  Sometimes there are respiratory/lung specialists nurses available who can act as a point of contact. 

    Some NHS consultants also work in private healthcare and may be willing to support with getting a private CT scan.  This may not be any quicker than on the NHS at this time, but it’s okay to ask again and explain that you are more worried after reading information online.

    It may help for them to let you know what the expected waiting times are for scan results and if they would consider trying to request the results sooner than two weeks.

    It’s important to focus on your own wellbeing at this time too.  Our information gives some suggestions about taking care of your health when you are helping to care for someone.  These hints and tips about how to manage stress are also worth exploring.

    I hope this helps guide you for now.  Don’t hesitate to come back if you need further support.

    Best wishes,

    Kelly, Cancer Information Nurse Specialist.

    You can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts.  Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7days a week, 8am-8pm) or send us an email.

    Ref: KA/UH