If you"ve to be told you have a lung nodule, you"re most likely worried and also you probably have questions. Here"s exactly how to discover the answers you need.

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If you"ve freshly undergone a scan the revealed a nodule on her lungs, you"re most likely worried, and also you probably have actually questions. Is a nodule a lung tumor? does it average you may have actually lung cancer?

This news can produce a lot of anxiety. Even if your doctor tells friend the nodule is probably noncancerous, most likely he or she has told girlfriend the nodule demands to be rechecked every couple of months through follow-up scans, or the you might need come undergo an ext tests.

Lack the clarity about your future health deserve to be stressful. You desire answers, and also it deserve to be really frustrating no knowing how long it"s walking to take to get them. And, in numerous health care settings, it may take months.

First, you might be comforted to recognize that, if lung nodules may be one indicator that lung cancer, benign nodules room common. A CT scan (computed tomography scan) alone may not be enough to confirm or rule out lung cancer. Lung nodules vary in shape, size and type, and also physicians follow specific guidelines in identify whether an ext testing, such together a PET/CT (positron emission tomography) scan or a lung biopsy, is warranted.

To help you get the information you need, this write-up answers common questions around lung nodules, including:

If you"ve newly been called you have actually a lung nodule and would prefer to talk with someone at Cancer treatment Centers that America® (CTCA) around getting a diagnosis, call usor chat online v a member of our team.

What go a point out on your lung mean?

Lung nodules, pulmonary nodules, white spots, lesions—these state all describe the very same phenomenon: an abnormality in the lungs.

Lung nodules are generally found ~ a patient undergoes a chest CT scan for some reason, such as once a patience experiences symptom of lung an illness or during a lung cancer screening. Sometimes, though, a doctor inadvertently clues a lung nodule when doing a CT screening of the patient"s abdomen due to unrelated stomach pain or after ~ an accident.

In a CT scan, her lungs show up as 2 black sponges with thin white lines running with them. That"s due to the fact that lungs room filled v air, and air looks black on a CT scan or a chest x-ray. Lung nodules, in turn, are white specks in that black space, an interpretation there’s something rather in her lungs wherein there have to only it is in air.

Once patients have been said they have actually a lung nodule, the first question they typically ask is: Is that cancer?

Can a CT scan call if a lung nodule is cancerous?

The brief answer is no. A CT scan normally isn"t enough to tell whether a lung nodule is a light tumor or a cancer lump. A biopsyis the only method to confirm a lung cancer diagnosis. However the nodule’s qualities as watched on a CT scan may offer clues.

To recognize whether the likelihood that lung cancer is high or low, physicians usually watch at 3 distinct qualities of the nodule: the dimension of the spot, its shape and also whether the nodule is calcified.

If the CT scan shows little nodules (less 보다 a centimeter wide, or about the dimension of a green pea), the probability that them being cancerous is low. Larger nodules are much more worrisome. Calcified lung nodules save on computer calcium deposits the sometimes form in response to infection. These nodules space most most likely noncancerous.

Another an essential sign physicians look for once trying to recognize whether a lung nodule might be cancer is the difference in the dimension of the nodule in between one scan and also another taken at a later on time. Cancerous nodules are much more likely come grow. If the white spot enlarges in between scans, that could be an indication the lung cancer.

So, when a CT scan can"t check whether your lung nodule is cancerous, the may determine whether further imaging tests room warranted. If this is the case, her doctor may order a pet scan and/or a biopsy that the endangered lung tissue.

If the attributes of her lung nodules suggest the opportunity of cancer, we at CTCA® introduce you undergo testing as soon as feasible to recognize whether your lung nodules room malignant or benign. If they’re benign, you obtain the tranquility of psychic of learning that. If they’re malignant, there are countless benefits that come with getting very early lung cancer diagnosis.

Benefits the the early on detection the lung cancer


There’s a significant difference in lung cancer survive rates in between cancers diagnosed in the early on stages and those diagnosed at phase 3 or phase 4—which is once the bulk of lung cancers are diagnosed.

When lung cancer is uncovered when it’s localized—meaning there’s no proof it’s spread outside the lungs—it’s much much easier to treat than as soon as it’s spread out to regional (near to the lungs) or distant locations of the body.

Early symptoms of lung cancer might include:

A sneeze that’s new, intensifies or produce blood Shortness that breath Chest pain once coughing or laughing inexplicable weight lose Lung infections that won’t go away

Many patients v lung cancer, though, don’t have any kind of symptoms until the cancer has progressed to the far-off stage. This initial lack of symptoms is why many lung cancers space diagnosed after they’ve advanced.

Once patients perform experience symptoms, however, researchers uncovered that the median amount the time in between seeking medical attention because that those symptoms and also the begin of treatment was 138 days. Such a delay gives the cancer even an ext time to grow and also metastasize and leads to higher anxiety levels because that the patient.

This is why obtaining the proper tests to identify whether a nodule is cancer is therefore important, also if friend don’t have any kind of other risk components for lung cancer.

At CTCA, us recommend you experience yearly lung cancer screenings if you"re in ~ high hazard of lung cancer (e.g., a life-long smoker), even if her lung nodule transforms out to be benign.

Why you should undergo yearly lung cancer screenings if you"re at high threat of lung cancer

Lung cancer screenings are like mammograms or colonoscopies: a yearly test that checks to check out whether high-risk individuals have developed suspicious indicators of cancer, or if cancer does develop, helps catch it as beforehand as possible.

While mammograms and also colonoscopies have garnered far-reaching awareness over the years, the portion of human being who experience yearly lung cancer screenings is really low. In fact, amongst people eligible for yearly lung cancer screenings in the unified States, only around 3 percent get screened.

The joined States preventative Services Task pressure advises the you"re at high threat of lung cancer if both the these apply to you:

You’re between the ages of 50 and also 80. You’re either a current smoker or a previous smoker who smoked a load a job for 20 years and battered smoking much less than 15 year ago.

What have to you carry out if you have actually a lung nodule?

If you’ve to be told you have a lung nodule, you should consult a pulmonologist or someone v training and experience in detecting and also treating lung nodules or lung cancer. This doctors may be better equipped to offer the suitable guidance and order further testing (when appropriate) to recognize whether you have actually lung cancer.

You might additionally want to think about getting a second opinion. Getting a second opinionfrom a cancer center with a multidisciplinary method to cancer diagnosis and also care may assist alleviate the stress and also anxiety that comes with finding out you have actually a lung nodule.

Many patients come to CTCA because that a 2nd opinion due to the fact that of our personalized technique to cancer careand considerable treatment options. Patients with lung nodules, specifically, concerned us because that a second opinion due to the fact that of our unique rapid lung-nodule diagnosis program.

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The CTCA rapid lung-nodule diagnosis program: Why we began it and how we technique cancer care


We"ve seen countless patients left stressed and anxious because that weeks or months after finding the end they have actually nodules in your lungs. They one of two people didn’t have actually clear answers about their lung nodules or weren’t comfortable v the answers they received. There’s no should live through that anxiety.

We also know how an important time is once it involves diagnosing and treating lung cancer. That’s why we produced our rapid lung-nodule diagnosis program, v results ceded in as few as four days.

At the fast lung-nodule diagnosis program, we respect our patients’ time and need for tranquility of mind by reducing the time in between when patients an initial discover castle may have nodules in your lungs and the minute they discover out even if it is those nodules are cancerous.

Before you also get to your an initial scheduled appointment, our team that cancer experts has currently researched and reviewed her CT scans. Ours tumor board consists of interdisciplinary experts, consisting of an interventional radiologist, an interventional pulmonologist, a thoracic surgeon, a medical oncologist and also a radiation oncologist—all reviewing her CT scans and also medical documents together.

Working together, us can better identify whether your lung nodules room suspicious because that cancer. If they are, we schedule the suitable tests as quickly as possible. These diagnostic procedures may incorporate a pet scan, genomic testing, a bronchoscopy, endobronchial ultrasoundor needle biopsy, depending upon what’s ideal for her case.

By day 4 of the program, we’ll give you a clear answer about what (if anything) demands to occur next. If friend don"t have actually lung cancer, us all celebrate and also you walk on your way. If girlfriend do have actually malignant nodules and also a lung cancer diagnosis, you can gain started with treatment best away.

Worrying around a lung nodule and the opportunity of cancer is both normal and also valid. In ~ CTCA, we know that patients need answers, and also they need them as soon as possible. Our patients’ tranquility of mind and also well-being room our height priority.

If you’re interested in scheduling one appointment with our rapid lung-nodule diagnosis program, call usor chat online through a member of ours team.