Lung Nodules

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lung nodules small masses of tissue in the lung are quite common. They appear as round, white shadows on a chest X-ray or CT scan. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about lung nodules in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

A lung nodule is a small, ball-shaped mass that can grow in the lung. Your doctor can see it on a chest X-ray or CT scan. Nodules can be smaller than a pea, the size of a golf ball or even larger.

Not all nodules are cancer. A lung nodule can be benign, which means it's not cancer, or malignant, which means it is cancer or may turn into cancer. Some patients are at higher risk of malignant lung nodules. Patients who smoke or have smoked in the past, who are more than 40 years old and who have other types of cancer are at higher risk of getting lung cancer.

Your doctor will look at X-rays and CT scans of your chest to check a lung nodule.

You may be sent to a lung or cancer specialist if your nodule is growing or if it may be malignant. The specialist might do a biopsy to find out if the nodule is cancer.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.