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Solitary Pulmonary Nodule (cont.)

Solitary Pulmonary Nodule Treatment

Based on the results of exams and tests, persons with solitary pulmonary nodule can be divided into the following three groups:

  1. Persons with benign solitary pulmonary nodule: Determining that the solitary pulmonary nodule is benign is based on the following:
    • Persons younger than 35 years without other risk factors
    • Benign appearance on chest X-ray film
    • Stability of the solitary pulmonary nodule over a period of 2 years on chest X-ray film or CT scan
    • Once an solitary pulmonary nodule is determined to be benign, no further workup is necessary. However, one must always consider the overall clinical situation. In some cases, such as in cigarette smokers further monitoring of the lungs may be necessary.
  2. Persons with a malignant solitary pulmonary nodule: Persons who have been diagnosed with a malignant solitary pulmonary nodule based on the results of the exams and tests should have the nodule surgically removed.
  3. Persons with solitary pulmonary nodule that cannot be classified as either benign or malignant: Most persons fall into this category. This is a very challenging population, and often can be followed by serial CT scans monitoring for change or stability of the solitary pulmonary nodule over a two year period.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/11/2015

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