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DrRussMD, Board Certified MD
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Experience:  Board certified Internal medicine and Integrative medicine. Many years of experience all areas.
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Question: What does "an ill-defined opacity in the left lower

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Question: What does "an ill-defined opacity in the left lower lung" means? Could this be something potentially related to lung cancer?
I have been coughing for past two months. We went to Vienna for the new year holiday. it was really really cold there. And after we got back to UK on Jan 4th, I began with a terrible sore throat then quickly turned into terrible cough with lots of dark green sputum. But then i didn't have symptoms associated with a cold such as fever, water eyes or running noses, It was just terrible cough. I thought it was probable just a bad viral infection therefore didn't go to see doctors. The cough seems to have gone after three weeks.
However, at the end of January, I caught another cold - this time, a typical cold: running nose, water eyes, fever as well as cough! I went to my GP at the end of January, but according to my GP: it was only viral infection - no antibiotics need. My fever lasted only one day, but cough persists this time, and keep coughing up a large amount of white thick phlegm. And I also suffer shortness of breath if I talk too much. Went to see another doctor again three weeks ago, and being told again it is viral infection only.
Given the persistence of cough, I decided to see a private doctor in London last Saturday, and being sent to do chest X-ray. The result came back this afternoon, here is the findings:
"There is an ill-defined focus of patchy airspace opacity in the left lower zone which does not obscure the left heart border or the left hemidiaphragm. This may represent a focus of infection and in the first instance a repeat film in 4 weeks following treatment if appropriate is recommended to ensure resolution. If infection is not thought to be present clinically, further imaging with CT may be of value."
The doctor treated it as a chest infection and has already prescribed antibiotics. I still wonder if I should go to see a chest specialist and do a CT straight away instead of waiting for another four weeks. By the way, I got private insurance, hence with the referral letter, my insurance provide can arrange an appointment immediately with a chest specialist.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 1 year ago.
HelloThis means that there is something that is not just lung in the left lower long.Usually it is a nodule, or a granuloma, infection or even just a scar.They apparently could not say for sure, but it looks most likely infection.NO you do not need to panic, I think you should trust your doctor, take the antibiotics [this was probably atypical pneumonia] and see on repeat film in a month if it has cleared up.That is unless you are a smoker. If you are a smoker, then I suggest the CT scan, as they now detect early problems in smokers and save lives.I do not think you need a pulmonologist at this time. [chest specialist]. Unless you do not clear up. OK, so you might have more questions or want to give me more information: Please use reply to expert if you have further questions. When you are ready, please click a positive rating [hopefully excellent—that’s how we are paid, per rating]. If you forgot something, come back. I am here daily.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** for your prompt answer - greatly appreciated. No, I am definately not a smoker, neither is my husband. But I have a weak lung capacity. Besides, my father died from colon cancer, and my mother died from Sjogren's syndrome. That's why I am getting a bit paranoid by keep wondering if there is anything more sinister... Besides, do you think if it is necessary for me to take a blood test?
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 1 year ago.
NoI think your treatment is state of the art.A blood test does not show any useful information in this situation.I think you will be fine.Please click a positive. See the rating scale at the top of the page. We are only paid per positive rating and bonuses. Please don't forget.Find me anytime by request in medical for fast, accurate, comprehensive and safe answers. Additional info: it is only if you did not clear up that further investigation would be needed.Good luck.
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Expert:  DrRussMD replied 1 year ago.
Thanks I am board certified in integrative medicine, internal medicine, trained in functional medicine and homeopathy, etc. I am here daily: use my request link as needed and “for Dr. Thomas” in the question title. Give that link to friends, family, associates, etc. Find me as needed for correct, safe and accurate answers.

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