What is an “Area of Decreased Density” in a Chest X-Ray

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Hello - I had a chest x-ray and now I need to go back for a CT scan. The problem is my appointment isn’t until next week and now in the meantime I’m freaking out. The x-ray result included this single comment: “There is a well-defined discrete area of decreased density underneath the left hemidiaphragm”. What are possible things this could be besides cancer? Is this inside the lung?

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  • Posted

    My doctor skipped the CT scan and went right to a Pet Scan. He also called me at home the night of the X-ray. The Pet Scan lit up in my lung and I had to have a lung biopsy. My doctor called me at home the night of the biopsy and said it was malignant. I think if the radiologist thought yours was malignant your doctor would call you. What did your doctor say it could be? Did he feel concerned? Since they are going for a CT and not a Pet Scan try to relax. It's not necessarily cancer. They aren't moving as fast with you as they did with me. As soon as I was told I was going to have a Pet Scan and not a CT, I did feel it was cancer,

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    • Posted

      Thanks @chicky1. That is helpful to know. The part I'm really confused about is the terminology they used in looking at my x-ray - "area of decreased density". The things I've read don't make it clear if it's a lump or other possibilities. And if there are other possibilities I'm wondering what they are.

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  • Posted

    what your results could be is a stomach bubble it shows up as a darker area under the left hemidiaphragm which is baciacally under the diaphram u have a right and a left the right is raised a bit higher to allow room for the liver sometimes air in the stomach can been seen as a darker area under the left hemidiaphragm

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  • Posted

    Thank you @kim16265! I was wondering that (if perhaps it's more likely related to my digestive system). My doctor confused me by talking about the lungs. I have a hiatal hernia... wonder if that's related. We'll see. Anyways this feedback is what i was looking for - thanks!!

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  • Posted

    Hence1979,

    Hi, what was the original cause or symptom that further imaging was needed? In any case its good that you came here on the internet to seek help. I'm not a doctor, but I think the very best advice I or anyone could give you is to begin searching topics on the hemidiaphragm or density of a lung. Read about some key words dive into it a little bit, be curious about your body. Take whatever information to find whether you understand it or not and share it with your doctorS. Ask him or her questions as to what you've looked up, this will do three great things,

    1: you have exposed interest in yourself and your health, this subconsciously purveys the notion of your own investment, keeping the doctors on top of you.

    2: Believe it or not, sometimes your thoughts can open up doors in anothers mind, preferably your doctors, discussing your own information and asking questions will jog the minds of others, this could lead to different thoughts or ideas regarding your case or cases similar to it.

    3: you are indirectly programming people around you, you may inspire others you share your story or situation with the chance to relate and use the route from a passive patient to assertive lively responsible patient. These subtle cues can and will make a difference.

    30 minutes of your time to research keywords, resource images, form questions, share them with all the doctors you come in contact with, you are not being annoying you are invested inspiring, take nothing for granted.

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  • Posted

    Okay, so it turns out the CT scan showed nothing in my chest and abdomen. The doctor summarized it as possibly shadows in the x-ray. Who knows - could have been stomach bubbles like @kim16265 had mentioned.

    @DanNeedsHelp - I originally went to the doctor for a lump near my collarbone. For that reason, my doctor wanted to do a chest x-ray. Previously I had an ultrasound done on that area and it looked fine. I'm still confused as to why he was concerned about my lungs since the hemidiaphragm is below the lungs. The CT scan concluded the lump in my collarbone is a limpoma. I appreciate the time you spent on your answer, however the health care system, at least in the U.S. isn't in such an ideal state. Interactions with doctors are timed strictly and often it seems that capitalism has taken over our health care... so their advice often has hidden agendas. I also wouldn't encourage people to depend on the internet as a source of truth for health issues but merely a journal of others who may have had similar experiences.

    Thanks everyone for the feedback! Hope this helps someone who ends up here. My conclusion: x-ray results and doctor interpretations are not dependable. In my case what was at first a "well defined" area of density turned out to be nothing.

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