Approximately 40 percent of lung nodules are cancerous, according to University of Rochester Medical Center. Lung, or pulmonary, nodules are small, round growths on the lung with a diameter of 3 inches or less.
Statistics show that 50 percent of all patients treated for cancerous lung nodules live at least five years, and 80 percent of patients with lung nodules measuring a centimeter or less in diameter live at least five years, making early detection critical, states University of Rochester Medical Center.
Benign lung nodules exhibit little growth or change and cause no symptoms, notes University of Rochester Medical Center. Cancerous nodules grow rapidly, sometimes doubling in size over a period of 25 days, and eventually cause symptoms such as fatigue, chest pain and shortness of breath.