Learn About Lung Nodules

What is the definition of Lung Nodules?

A lung nodule is a type of abnormal growth that can occur in the lung. Lung nodules can occur in either lung, and patients may have more than one nodule. Lung nodules can be detected on CT scans or X-rays.

The average size of a lung nodule is typically under 10mm, which is less than half an inch. Larger nodules are associated with a higher risk of lung cancer, but with regular CT scans, lung cancer can often be caught in an early stage and treated. The majority of cases of lung nodules, roughly 95%, are non-cancerous.

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What are the alternative names for Lung Nodules?

Lung nodules may also be referred to as pulmonary nodules or spots on the lung.

What are the causes of lung nodules?

Lung nodules can have a variety of different causes.

One of the most common causes of lung nodules is a previous illness or infection. Previous lung infections such as tuberculosis can cause scar tissue in the lungs. Fungal infections such as histoplasmosis or blastomycosis also present very similarly to lung nodules. Additionally, certain types of cancer such as kidney cancer has the potential to spread to the lungs, resulting in lung nodules.

Individuals who smoke or are regularly around other irritants in the air are more likely to develop lung nodules and are at a greater risk for developing lung cancer.

What are the symptoms of lung nodules?

Symptoms of lung nodules typically vary by the size and location of the nodules. Smaller nodules may not cause symptoms at all. Larger nodules may cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Hoarseness
  • Chest Pain
  • Chronic cough or coughing up blood
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What are the current treatments for lung nodules?

Treatment for lung nodules is often personalized based on the size of the nodules as well as any other risk factors that may contribute to a patient developing lung cancer.

The vast majority of patients undergo active surveillance, where they receive regular CT scans for 1-2 years after diagnosis to determine if the nodule is growing. Typically if there is no growth after 2 years, there is much less risk for that nodule to be cancerous. For these patients, a lung biopsy is typically not recommended, due to increased risks from performing the procedure compared to watching and waiting.

For patients whose lung nodules have grown, a bronchoscopy may be performed. In this procedure, a tube is inserted through the throat into the lungs and is used to get a sample of the lung nodule. For nodules on the outer part of the lung, it is also possible to insert a thin needle through the chest to get a sample. After the sample is tested and if it is found to be cancerous, it can be removed through an incision in the chest.

What are the possible complications of lung nodules?

The majority of patients with lung nodules will have either no or minimal health complications, although it is suggested to receive additional CT scans over time to see if the nodule is growing. Roughly 5% of lung nodules turn out to be cancer, which can have more significant complications if not treated early.

When should I contact a medical professional for lung nodules?

The majority of lung nodule cases are non-cancerous and do not cause symptoms. However, call your provider right away if you are experiencing symptoms such as:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
Who are the top Lung Nodules Local Doctors?
Highly rated in
Emergency Medicine
Pulmonary Medicine
Internal Medicine

Cleveland Clinic Health System

Cleveland Clinic Main Campus

9500 Euclid Ave 
Cleveland, OH 44195

Peter Mazzone is an Emergency Medicine specialist and a Pulmonary Medicine doctor in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Mazzone is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Lung Nodules. He is also highly rated in 8 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Lung Nodules, Lung Cancer, Bullae, and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. He is board certified in Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care (Intensivists) and licensed to treat patients in Ohio. Dr. Mazzone is currently accepting new patients.

Highly rated in
Pulmonary Medicine
Intensive Care Medicine

Vanderbilt Health

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

2220 Pierce Ave 
Nashville, TN 37232

Fabien Maldonado is a Pulmonary Medicine specialist and an Intensive Care Medicine doctor in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Maldonado has been practicing medicine for over 20 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Lung Nodules. He is also highly rated in 19 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Lung Nodules, Pleural Effusion, Lung Cancer, and Lymphofollicular Hyperplasia. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Critical Care (Intensivists), and Pulmonary Disease and licensed to treat patients in Minnesota and Tennessee. Dr. Maldonado is currently accepting new patients.

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Highly rated in

University Of Groningen

Faculty Of Medical Sciences 
Groningen, GR, NL 

Matthijs Oudkerk is in Groningen, Netherlands. Oudkerk is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Lung Nodules. He is also highly rated in 7 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Lung Nodules, Lung Cancer, Calcinosis, and Coronary Heart Disease.

What are the latest Lung Nodules Clinical Trials?
A Real-World Study to Evaluate the Diagnostic Value of Puncture Biopsy for Peripheral Lung Nodules Under the Guidance of Augmented Reality Navigation System Combined With Radial EBUS
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Clinical Evaluation of LungLB in Subjects Presenting With Indeterminate Pulmonary Nodules
What are the Latest Advances for Lung Nodules?
Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Vasculitis Developing Pancreatic Lesion and Diabetes Mellitus: A Case Report and Review of the Literature.
Development of bullous pemphigoid following radiation therapy combined with nivolumab for renal cell carcinoma: A case report of abscopal toxicities.
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CT derived radiomic score for predicting the added benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy following surgery in stage I, II resectable non-small cell lung cancer: a retrospective multicohort study for outcome prediction.