Diabetic fibrous nodules

I had a bit of a shocker recently, where I had a repeat ct scan done of my chest. In 2019 I had a car accident and did a scan. They found a few tiny nodules and asked me to return in a year, which I didn’t because of Covid and the whole craziness. So I finally went in. There was one nodule that grew from 3 mm to 10mm. So of course I’m worried, I’ve had cancer before in my parotid gland 31 years ago.
When I post stuff like this I feel like people must think I’m a mess, but really I’m very healthy and I mostly feel great.
That being said my doctor has ordered a PET scan even though he wants to remove it in any case.
But then tells me this is likely a Diabetic fibrous nodule.
This is something I had never heard about or referenced.
There is nothing I could find looking it up, but wondered if anyone here had had a similar situation


I’ve never heard of it, but I did find this in depth article that I don’t understand half of what they are saying except yes, diabetics are more prone to form fibrous nodules in the lungs.


Thanks @MikeR1 ! The above article talks about fibrotic changes in the lung, not nodules.


Haven’t heard of it. Will have to do some googling. I’m having trouble with my tendons, but no organs affected.

Well I’m actually hoping it’s a real thing.
I had cancer when I was 26. I didn’t realize how aggressive it was because surgery took care of it and only 1 round of chemo just because, they had no real treatment. So 31 years later I’m very worried about a 1 cm spot on my lung. I had a ct done on Friday and I figure I’ll either get a needle biopsy or a full surgical excision after thst. It depends oh exactly where it is and how accessible it is.
A fibroid sounds really nice right about now.
I had just never heard of it but there are a few studies and articles referring to it.


@Timothy, I can understand why you are anxious about this news. I hadn’t heard of the fibrous nodule either, but I will read about it. It sounds like your doctor is gathering information that will help provide the most information. Hopefully, it will be good news. In the meantime, I’ll look forward to reading your post about how you are doing. Hang in there. As you said, you are healthy and feel good. Those are very positive things.


Think positive and for now hope that it is a “diabetic fibrous nodule”. Diabetic mastopathy (DMP) is non-cancerous, benign, and there’s no association with cancerous tumors of the breast. Men can get them also, and no treatment is necessary.

When doctors find anything unusual, but not immediately life threatening, normal practice is to look at that area more closely to determine what it is, before choosing a therapy. They may speculate about the worst case if pressed, but a good doctor doesn’t worry a patient unnecessarily.

A doctor wanting to remove anything regardless of what it proves to be isn’t standard practice. In your concern over it being cancer, you may have misunderstood your doctor.

Without more evidence, a decision for surgical removal is premature. All surgery has non-zero risks. A PET scan of a 10mm mass makes sense to get a better understanding of the nature of the mass before determining whether any therapy is necessary.

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It’s one of those mindless triggers. 10mm means danger. So take it out. But we will see


If you understand half of it, you’re way ahead of me. I understand so little that researching individual acronyms and conditions might take the rest of my lifetime. :roll_eyes:

I know how to do online research of unfamiliar subjects, but medical isn’t that complicated compared to new technology. Medical buzzwords emerge slowly and stick around a long time.

Medical research reports are written in a consistent style so non-specialists can quickly see if hey are relevant to what they want to know, and what’s important, in an “executive summary”. Ignore the numbers and most still make sense.

Look up the few acronyms they assume “everyone” knows, and they make more sense. I do this and later forget the acronym and “proper” name, by translating what I care about into language I use and remembering the ideas.

Doctors are not actually smarter than most patients. They have been given more specialized information and use more jargon, but you can pick up the terms they use that apply to you quickly - if you care to.

There are ways to get medical information that is easier to read than NIH reports and Google is designed to help.

On a Google Chrome or Edge page, highlight a phrase, or word or abbreviation that you don’t understand, right click it and you get a popup to look for it. Acronyms are much tougher, I avoid using them except within an explanation as if they were a pronoun.

If you install the “ChatGPT for Google by cloudHQ” Chrome or Edge extension it will give you a pretty good digest of what it finds within the top links.

Often you will find a link for News-medical.net. It gives good, shorter explanations with fewer buzzwords.

Doctors are not actually smarter than most patients. They have been given more specialized information and use more jargon, but you can pick up the terms they use that apply to you quickly - if you care to.

This is a misleading statement.

You could say lawyers are not smarter than their clients, but that’s irrelevant.

Like all professionals, doctors are trained to think in a specific way that is different from how you and I think. This has nothing to do with how “smart” they or you are. It’s a difference in kind, not a difference in degree.

Lawyers for example are not just trained to look up case law, but to think a certain way about legal language and how it is implemented. Is is easy for an untrained person like you or I to misunderstand legal language and even seemingly simple words and phrases. Often there is a broader context or legal history at play which you would not know simply by doing a google search. As a layman, you might cherry pick a sentence or paragraph out of a similar sounding case to yours, when in fact it may be completely irrelevant to your situation for any varying number of factors. That’s why they say “a client representing himself has a fool for a lawyer.”

Similarly with doctors, they are trained to understand health much more broadly. It doesn’t mean they know everything, and can certainly make mistakes. But to discount the specialized knowledge and years of training that physicians receive is unfair at best, and dangerous at worst.

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@Timothy One week ago my GP told me they found a 1cm (10mm) nodule in my right lung. This was an unexpected result from a chest x-ray I had, as I have been having a chronic, severe hacking cough lasting 4 months that we assumed was linked to a chronic sinus infection I’d experienced for 6 months. My GP said my lungs sounded clear, but wanted an x-ray just to rule out pneumonia. Instead they found a nodule.

I recently migrated to New Zealand, and had a chest x-ray a year prior for my immigration medicals so we had a baseline from which to compare. That x-ray was clear. I had a chest CT scan with contrast dye a few days ago and am waiting on the results. (good news-- here in New Zealand this is completely free :slight_smile:

I’ve never smoked, so lung cancer is unlikely. I’m hoping the nodule turns out to be an effect of the severe, extended coughing I experienced, which fortunately is finally subsiding. (I had 4 rounds of antibiotics which didn’t have any lasting effects)

This page from the Cleveland Clinic is very reassuring.

Good luck to you. I wish you the best of health.

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I think you are nitpicking off the point so the appropriate response is yada yada yada.

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When mine were found probably over 20 years ago I was told they were common for people who lived in the Midwest. Mine were unchanged in the couple of years they kept checking. I can see why you are nervous if they grew. Good luck. I hope it’s not your worst fear.
Oh and never called “diabetic nodules”. Just nodules.

I just wanted to jump in here to clarify a few notions in this thread. I am a Ph.D, not MD, but did cancer research (now retired for a few years).

The one paper that was linked discusses fibrotic changes in the lung, and has no relevance to nodules. The fibrotic changes they describe would result in a loss of elasticity of the lung, or a stiffening of the lung connective tissue. What is relevant is that they ascribe the changes to long term hyperglycemia; commonly this is auto-glycosylation of tendons and etc. So, not relevant to nodules.

The second paper describes a rare condition, and a single case report, of a mass found in the mammary tissue. I am not sure exactly what they are describing, but my interpretation is that they are describing an inflammatory process, not a cancer. The fibrosis in this case are connective tissue cells, benign cells, that entrapped breast tissue. Diabetes can affect inflammatory processes, more so in uncontrolled/poorly controlled diabetes.

So, these are not relevant to lung nodules. Lung nodules can form for a variety of reasons, for example pneumonia, Covid, and cancer. Yours seems to be a slow growing nodule.

I had a nodule in my lung that took a few years to disappear, and yearly x-rays showed it wasn’t growing. I don’t think it is diabetes related, and they are common.


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It’s not nitpicking.

“Do your own research” leads untrained people to come to all kinds of ridiculous, inaccurate or even harmful conclusions that are not based in evidence.

And you don’t need to look far to see that I’m right. Just look at how @MikeR1 applied his academic rigor to this very thread just above this post.

It’s not a matter of being smart or not. It’s a matter of having the tools to know how to interpret the information you uncover. By all means discuss the Google searches you find with your doctor; that can be helpful. But cherry picking info from Google searches on your own is a great way to uncover your ignorance on a given topic, not that you’re “smarter” than your doctor.

Good news- my 10mm “nodule” is a benign lesion called a “bone island”. We have an x-ray from a year ago showing it, and it was the same. Completely harmless. I can finally exhale now.



One down, Timothy still to go.


Update. Turns out my 10 mm nodule is 7 mm. According to Ct scan. I don’t know how it’s smaller than on the X-rays.
Normally 7 mm doesn’t get too much attention but since I have 7 smaller nodules and I have a history of a mix cell carcinoma adenoma of my parotid gland 31 years ago, we are still doing more tests. I’m going to get a pet scan. And if it shows the nodule is not terribly reactive, then I’m not going to get a biopsy. And get another scan I a year.
Still this nodule grew from 3mm to 7 in 4 years. Not sure what to think really


Remember that an x-ray is a one dimensional image, so if it changed angle it could appear larger. A PET scan will show if it is metabotically active, but if it slow growing then it won’t show much activity. Ask your Doc how reliable size estimates are on these scans; an MRI is the most accurate I think.


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Hang in there.

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