Lung nodules are small collection of tissue in your lungs. Lung nodules can represent a host of different things, although they can be a cancer, the majority of nodules are benign. Benign causes include:
- Infections, scar tissue
- Inflammatory processes
- Vascular abnormalities
Lung nodules that are small are less likely to be cancer than those that are larger. It is very important that your current CT scan be compared with any CT scans that you have had in the past. A nodule that has been present for many years without any change, it may not require any intervention other than close observation and follow-up CT scans.
At White Plains Hospital, we understand that finding out that you have a nodule on your CT scan can be a frightening moment. We will meet with you and go over your CT scans shortly after you contact us. We will not only review your current CT scan but we will also do a direct comparison to any CT scans that you have had in the past. As team, we will decide the next best step for evaluation of your nodule.
The choices could include:
Observation: We will determine the best time interval to repeat the CT scan. As part of the Comprehensive Lung Nodule Care, we will discuss the results of the new CT scan with you and advise you if continued observation is appropriate. If your nodule does not change over time, we will develop an individualized follow-up plan for you which will include CT scans followed by an office visit in which we will compare your past and most recent films.
Biopsy: A new lung nodule or one that has grown in size, may require a sample of tissue to determine the diagnosis. A tissue biopsy may be obtained by
- CT guided biopsy
- Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS)
- Video cervical mediastinoscopy
After the biopsy is performed, we will discuss the results and treatment options with you in a follw-up office visit. We understand that waiting for results can be anxiety provoking, so we will make every effort to see you as soon as the results are ready.
If your biopsy is determined to be a lung cancer, we will proceed with appropriate lung cancer staging. For early stage lung cancer, we offer minimally invasive lung resection.
At White Plains Hospital we have board certified thoracic surgeons who work closely with the board –certified radiologists , pulmonologists and pathologists to provide the most in-sync comprehensive lung nodule care. And when appropriate, medical and radiation oncologists are readily available for consultation. This team of professionals will guide and support you through this frequently stressful time.