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lung nodules
June 6, 2011 10:22 PM   Subscribe

how far back can you go to get a lung xray for ct comparison? And does having single nodules in each lung increase chance for cancer?
posted by barberpowell to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
 
IANYD. IANY radiologist either. :-)

A single nodule in one lung may or may not mean cancer. It depends on the size and on the features of the nodes. It also depends if the patient has symptoms, so clinical correlation is always necessary.

Multiple nodules also may or may not mean cancer. Again, it depends on the features of the nodules, and if the patient is symptomatic.

If you are asked to get a lung xray for CT comparison, perhaps your doctor wants to confirm if his diagnosis is likely. Alternatively, he may want to see what your normal lung looks like.

I hope this helps.
posted by onegoodthing at 5:26 AM on June 7, 2011


how far back can you go to get a lung xray for ct comparison?

Do you mean how long will your old x-ray be available or how old can it be and still be useful? Assuming it is the former there isn't a single answer. Medical records retention laws vary by state here in the US; I do not know about other countries. 5 to 7 years is typical but there are a lot of exceptions including some specifically for x-rays; here is a PDF that summarizes the laws in each state. I hope that helps.
posted by TedW at 8:51 AM on June 7, 2011


Also, many hospitals keep records longer than the minimum specified, often on microfilm.
posted by TedW at 8:53 AM on June 7, 2011


how far back can you go to get a lung xray for ct comparison?

If you have a delorean and a flux capacitor, you can go back as far as you want! I'm not really sure what your question is about, but if you mean is a really a really old chest xray useful for comparison with a recent ct - I'd say yes. It's always good to have older images to look at and compare with. And as onegoodthing suggested, nobody can speculate what your nodules are without a lot more info.
posted by sero_venientibus_ossa at 3:19 PM on June 7, 2011


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