What Are the Causes of Multiple Lung Nodules?


Quick Answer

The causes of multiple lung nodules include cancer, benign tumors, autoimmune conditions, infections and inflammatory conditions, according to About.com. The most common cause of multiple lung nodules is cancer that has spread from one area of the body to the lungs.

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Full Answer

Metastatic cancer from the breast, colon, bladder or prostate may cause multiple lung nodules, especially when a person has a history of cancer, explains About.com. Other cancers, such as Kaposi's sarcoma and lymphomas, may also lead to the development of multiple nodules. Hamartomas are noncancerous tumors that are made up of cartilage, fat or connective tissues, and these may cause multiple lung nodules.

Autoimmune conditions such as sarcoidosis, Wegener's granulomatosis and others may also appear in the lungs as multiple nodules, states About.com. Infections may also cause the appearance of multiple nodules on the lungs, and these include tuberculosis, septic nodules and fungal infections, such as coccidiomycosis, aspergillosis and histoplasmosis. Parasites, such as paragonimus, and inflammatory conditions, such as black lung disease, can also cause multiple lung nodules.

Lung nodules are common, and studies show they appear in more than half of the scans of smokers over the age of 50, claims About.com. Lung nodules that are larger than a centimeter in diameter are more likely to be cancerous than smaller nodules.

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