What Are the Symptoms of Benign Lung Nodules and Tumors?

What Are the Symptoms of Benign Lung Nodules and Tumors?

Benign lung nodules and tumors generally cause no symptoms and are accidentally discovered on CT scans and chest X-rays, as stated by WebMD. If symptoms do occur, they may include shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing up blood, a lasting cough or fever, particularly when pneumonia is present.

A nodule appears as a spot on a CT scan or X-ray, and appears on approximately one in every 500 chest X-rays, as confirmed by WebMD. Although exact causes of benign lung tumors and nodules is not well understood, as of 2015, they may result from a lung abscess, an infectious fungus, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis or round pneumonia.

To discover whether a lung tumor or nodule is benign or cancerous, a doctor may take the patient's medical history, perform a physical exam and take repeated X-rays for up to 2 years, according to WebMD. The tumor or nodule is considered benign if it stays the same size over this period, and it may also have a more even color and smoother edges than a cancerous nodule. The doctor may also use a tuberculin skin test, blood tests, magnetic resonance imaging or a biopsy to check for cancer. A nodule is more likely to be benign if it is small, possesses calcium, or if patient is under age 40 and does not smoke.