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Doctors and providers who treat this condition

  

Pulmonary Nodule

A pulmonary nodule is a finding on a chest x-ray. It is usually found on an x-ray taken for other reasons. It is a single lesion up to about an inch in size, surrounded by normal lung tissue. 

Most nodules are “benign” (non-cancerous). However, a nodule could be an early stage of primary lung cancer; or, it may be a sign of cancer that has spread from another part of the body (“metastatic”). Once a nodule is found on a chest x-ray, further testing is needed to determine if it is benign or “malignant” (cancerous). The following studies may be scheduled as an outpatient to diagnose your nodule. 

  • Comparison of today’s x-ray to prior x-rays

  • Chest CT scan

  • Bronchoscopy (a procedure that allows the doctor to see the air passages inside the lung)

  • Needle biopsy

Test Results:

  • If your nodule proves to be benign, continued follow up over the next five years is usually advised.

  • If the tests cannot tell if your nodule is benign or malignant, then, surgery may be advised.

  • If your tests show your nodule is definitely malignant, surgery will probably be advised.

The best survival rates from lung cancer occur when the primary tumor is small (less than one inch).  Follow your doctor's advice regarding the timing of further testing. Prompt treatment gives the best chance for curing lung cancer.

Prevention

Smoking remains one of the greatest risk factors for lung cancer. If you smoke, it is essential that you quit in order to lower your risk of lung cancer. Talk to your doctor about ways to help you quit.  Visit the following links for more information:

  • www.smokefree.gov/pubs/clearing_the_air.pdf

  • www.smokefree.gov

  • www.quitnet.com

Home Care:

Most patients with a pulmonary nodule will have no symptoms. Therefore, no special home care is required. You may resume your usual activities and diet.

Follow Up

with your doctor or as advised by our staff.  Keep your appointments for further testing.

You can get more information about lung cancer from the following:

  • American Lung Association 
    800-586-4872 lung.org

  • National Cancer Institute
    800-422-6237 www.cancer.gov

Return Promptly

or contact your doctor if any of the following occur:

  • Fever of 100.4ºF (38ºC) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Coughing up blood

  • Chest pain or shortness of breath

  • Unintended weight change

 

 
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