Q:

What treatments are available for lung nodules?

A:

Quick Answer

Lung nodules may only require observation over a period of several years, although suspicious-looking nodules may be biopsied so that malignancy can be ruled out or surgically removed. If the biopsy or tests on the nodule shows that it is benign, no further treatment may be necessary, according to WebMD.

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Full Answer

X-ray studies of the chest may be taken to observe a lung nodule over time, states WebMD. A biopsy or surgical removal of the nodule may be advised if the nodule is large and the patient is a smoker, if the patient has symptoms that the doctor suspects are caused by the nodule, if a scan suggests that the nodule might be malignant, or if the nodule grows.

Surgery to remove a lung nodule generally is minimally invasive and requires only a short stint in the hospital, notes WebMD. With a diagnosis of a benign lung nodule, treatment may only involve management of any complications or underlying problems that result from the nodule. For example, treatment may be needed for obstructions or pneumonia. If invasive surgery is needed to remove a tumor, tests to ensure the health of the patient may be undertaken first, including tests to determine the functionality of the lungs, liver and kidneys prior to surgery.

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