Do Benign Lung Nodules Grow?

Can a benign lung nodule become cancerous?

Yes, lung nodules can be cancerous, though most lung nodules are noncancerous (benign).

Lung nodules — small masses of tissue in the lung — are quite common.

They appear as round, white shadows on a chest X-ray or computerized tomography (CT) scan..

What size lung nodule should be biopsied?

Nodules between 6 mm and 10 mm need to be carefully assessed. Nodules greater than 10 mm in diameter should be biopsied or removed due to the 80 percent probability that they are malignant. Nodules greater than 3 cm are referred to as lung masses.

Do lung nodules cause coughing?

A wide range of symptoms may suggest that a patient has lung nodules or a lung mass. These include mild cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Other patients may experience weight loss, pain in the chest, or coughing up blood. However, many patients with a lung nodule or lung mass have no symptoms at all.

How often should you have a CT scan for lung nodules?

How long will I get CT scans? Some people will only need one repeat CT scan a year after the first. Most people will get a few CT scans over a period of two years after the first. This decision is also based on how likely the nodule is to be lung cancer.

Are pulmonary nodules common?

Lung nodules are quite common and are found on one in 500 chest X-rays and one in 100 CT scans of the chest. Lung nodules are being recognized more frequently with the wider application of CT screening for lung cancer. Roughly half of people who smoke over the age of 50 will have nodules on a CT scan of their chest.

What is the most common cause of multiple nodules in lung?

The aetiology of multiple pulmonary nodules is quite complex, with metastatic disease being the most common cause. Other possibilities include sarcoidosis or an inflammatory process, such as fungus, tuberculosis, nocardiosis or septic emboli.

What makes a lung nodule suspicious?

However, your doctor may suspect a lung nodule is cancerous if it grows quickly, or has ridged edges. Even if your doctor believes the nodule is benign or non-cancerous, he or she may order follow-up chest scans for some time to monitor the nodule and identify any changes in size, shape or appearance.

What causes lung nodules to increase in size?

The most common causes overall include granulomas (clumps of inflamed tissue due to an infection or inflammation) and hamartomas (benign lung tumors). The most common cause of malignant lung nodules includes lung cancer or cancers from other regions of the body that have spread to the lungs (metastatic cancer).

Do benign lung nodules go away?

Compared to malignant tumors, benign lung tumors: Aren’t cancerous, so won’t spread to other parts of the body. Grow slowly, or might even stop growing or shrink. Aren’t usually life-threatening.

When should I worry about lung nodules?

If the nodule does not grow over the two-year period, your doctor likely will diagnose it as benign and will not treat it further, Dr. Lam says. If growth is detected, a biopsy or surgery would be recommended. In general, malignant nodules double in size every one to six months.

How long can you live with lung nodules?

Half of all patients treated for a cancerous pulmonary nodule live at least five years past the diagnosis. But if the nodule is one centimeter across or smaller, survival after five years rises to 80 percent.

How often should a lung nodule be checked?

Some nodules will be followed with a repeat CT scan in 6-12 months for a few years to make sure it does not change. If the lung nodule biopsy shows an infection, you might be sent to a specialist called an infectious disease doctor, for further testing.