What does a nodule on a CT scan mean? A chest x-ray or CT scan, which uses a computer connected to X-ray equipment to create a sequence of detailed images of different places inside the body, is frequently used to detect lung nodules. These scans can be requested for a variety of situations, including car accidents and respiratory difficulties.
According to Dr. Davies Wong, a pulmonary disease specialist associated with a Hospital, a lung nodule is a small abnormal area that is thicker than normal lung tissue. It is frequently referred to as a “spot on the lung” or a “shadow.” The majority of lung nodules are benign, which is good news.
These spots on your CT scan are frequently produced by scar tissue, autoimmune disorders, respiratory system infections, some allergen in the air, or even a healed infection that may not have ever made you sick and don’t normally create symptoms.
The remaining 5% of these nodules, though, maybe malignant.
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What Can Be Done?
Dr. Wong laments that a CT scan cannot determine whether a nodule is benign or not. “Being proactive about a nodule is vital because earlier lung cancer discovery can significantly improve outcomes.”
The most crucial thing to do is to have your doctor constantly monitor the nodules’ growth over time because a huge majority of nodules are benign. Nodules that remain the same size after a two-year observation period are often considered to be cancer-free.
According to Dr. Wong, your doctor should take into account any additional circumstances that might contribute to the nodule needing additional testing.
Large nodules, usually larger than 8 millimeters, or nodules that significantly increase in size over time would require more investigation than merely follow-up imaging. Based on your risk factors, such A expert can assess the necessity for additional tests. Based on your risk factors, a specialist can determine whether additional testing is necessary, such as:
- Previously smoking
- How old are you.
- Whether you have a history of cancer in your family
- Whether you underwent chest radiation therapy
- Whether you were exposed to secondhand smoke, radon, or asbestos
Depending on the diagnosis, examinations, biopsies, and even surgery would be the next step.
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What Are Your Options?
The first thing you should do if a lung nodule is found is to let your primary care physician know. For assistance in evaluating and managing a nodule, your doctor may recommend that you visit the Outpatient Pulmonary Clinic at Sharp Memorial Hospital.
The clinic provides specialized expertise to assist patients to comprehend their CT scans and lung exams. If a nodule is discovered, our team of specialists and a patient navigator will keep an eye on it to make sure that any lung cancer or other diseases are detected early.
When a doctor reads a scan, hearing the words “we found something” might be stressful for the patient, but it’s crucial to keep the big picture in mind if a nodule is discovered.
The majority of accidental nodules have a minimal chance of developing into cancer, but Dr. Wong emphasizes the importance of keeping an eye on their development. This may result in better overall results and early reduction of any disease development.