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Solitary Pulmonary Nodule (cont.)

Solitary Pulmonary Nodule Prognosis

Most solitary pulmonary nodules are benign, but they may represent an early stage of lung cancer.

Lung cancer survival rates remain low at 14% at 5 years. However, early lung cancer (i.e., lung cancer that is diagnosed when the primary tumor is smaller than 3 cm in diameter [stage 1A]), can be associated with a 5 year survival rate of 70% to 80%.

Accordingly, the only chance for cure of early lung cancer that presents as solitary pulmonary nodule is prompt diagnosis and treatment.

Support Groups and Counseling

If your solitary pulmonary nodule is diagnosed as malignant, you may need counseling and help from support groups to improve your ability to deal with your situation. The following organizations can help you with support and counseling:

  • The AMC Cancer Information and Counseling Line provides current medical information and counseling for cancer issues.
    (800) 525-3777
  • The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship is a survivor-led advocacy organization working exclusively on behalf of people with all types of cancer and their families.
    (877) 622-7937

Solitary Pulmonary Nodule Pictures

X-ray film of a large, well-circumscribed mass in the periphery of the right upper lobe. The mass was later was determined to be a neurilemoma.
X-ray film of a large, well-circumscribed mass in the periphery of the right upper lobe. The mass was later was determined to be a neurilemoma. Click to view larger image.

Acromioclavicular joint separation. X-ray courtesy of Lisa Chan, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine.
A 1.5-cm coin lesion in the left upper lobe in a patient with prior colonic carcinoma. Transthoracic needle biopsy findings confirmed this to be a metastatic deposit. Click to view larger image.

Medically reviewed by James E. Gerace, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Pulmonary Disease


Gould MK, Fletcher J, Iannettoni MD, Lynch WR, Midthun DE, Naidich DP, Ost DE. American College of Chest Physicians. Evaluation of patients with pulmonary nodules: when is it lung cancer?: ACCP evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (2nd edition). Chest 2007 Sep;132(3 Suppl):108S-30S. [211 references]

Arenberg D. PET Scans for Lung Nodules: Costs and Cost-effectiveness Chest. 2010;137(1):4-6

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/9/2016

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Patient Comments & Reviews

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Solitary Pulmonary Nodule - Cause

What was the cause of your solitary pulmonary nodule?

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Solitary Pulmonary Nodule »

Patients with solitary pulmonary nodules (SPNs) are usually asymptomatic; however, SPNs pose a challenge to both physicians and patients.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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