Pulmonary nodules, also known as lung nodules, sound like a serious health condition and they can be in certain cases. But they’re also extremely common. The Cleveland Clinic notes, “Countless pulmonary nodules are discovered each year during chest X-rays or CT scans.”
While most of these nodules are not a cause for concern (they are non-cancerous or “benign”), there are risk factors and symptoms that can increase the likelihood of a nodule needing more investigation. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about pulmonary nodules.
What Does a Lung Nodule Mean?
First thing’s first: what is a lung nodule? The American Cancer Society describes them as a “small abnormal area” that is uncovered during an imaging scan of the chest for cancer screenings or to pinpoint symptoms, such as a lingering cough.
Medical News Today gets a bit more specific, noting a lung nodule is typically less than or equal to 3-centimeters in size to be called a nodule. If they are any larger, doctors will usually refer to them as “lung masses,” adds the source. The latter is more likely to be cancerous.