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Lung Cancer

Lung nodule

09/19/2008

Question:

Should a non calcified lung nodule be followed up with a cat scan or is regular xray sufficient? How long do the nodules take to calcify?

Answer:

Any nodule in lung can be an infection, scar or early cancer. Nodules that are caused by fungal infection or other non malignant conditions may be calcified. In other words, a calcification suggests non-cancer condition in most cases. We like to follow lung nodules for a total of 2 years. Chest CT scan is the best to determine if there is any change in shape, size or character. A nodule from early cancer will grow. A scar or old infection may remain unchanged. A new infection may just disappear. A chest X ray is not a good imaging method to follow these as the picture lacks resolution of a CT.

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Response by:

Shaheen  Islam, MD, MPH Shaheen Islam, MD, MPH
Clinical Associate Professor
Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
Hematology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University