If your chest X-ray has revealed a “spot” on your lung, you probably want to know exactly what that means. Your first thought is to wonder what’s causing the spot and how concerned you should be about it.
When faced with an abnormal X-ray, patients have many questions and concerns. In this blog, experienced pulmonologist, Dr. Marc Bowen, will address those concerns and discuss the necessary next steps when an X-ray reveals a spot on your lung.
What does a spot on my lung mean?
A spot on the lung, which is also referred to as a lung or pulmonary nodule, could be an early indication of cancer. However, this is not usually the case. The appearance of a lung spot on an X-ray is quite common and usually indicates a benign condition.
Lung nodules may be caused by a variety of issues other than cancer, but it’s important to have them checked out to be sure and to address any causes that require treatment.
These types of nodules may be caused by marks or scars left from a previous infection, such as:
- A fungal infection
- A bacterial infection
- A mycobacterial infection
Another possible cause of a lung nodule is a granuloma, a benign rounded scar resulting from many different benign inflammatory diseases, other than cancer.
When should I be concerned about the spot on my lung?
A lung nodule is a spot that is at least two centimeters in diameter that appears on a lung X-ray, and the size of the spot is important. Smaller nodules are more likely to be benign than larger nodules.
Shape and location are also important. The more irregularly shaped the nodule is, the more likely it is to be cancer, and the same is true of nodules located in the upper portion of the lung.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the nodule is cancer, however. The following factors can influence the likelihood that a solo spot on a lung X-ray indicates cancer:
- Age: If you’re under 35, there’s a less than 1 percent chance that your nodule is cancerous. That percentage rises to 50 percent if you’re in your fifties or older.
- Smoking: If you smoke, you have an increased risk of lung cancer.
- Family history: If you have a family history of lung cancer, you’re more likely to also develop the disease.
- Asbestos exposure: If you’ve previously been exposed to asbestos, you’re more likely to develop lung cancer.
My doctor found a spot on my lung – now what?
Getting answers and an explanation of what’s causing the imaging results is of primary importance. You may be understandably concerned, and having your spot evaluated will give you the information you need.
At MXBowen, Physician, P.C., Health & Breathing Center, we’re here for you. We’re here to provide diagnostic testing, specialist expertise, and peace of mind.
Where can I get the spot on my lung evaluated in NYC?
Dr. Bowen is an experienced pulmonologist known for his compassionate care, reassuring bedside manner, and for the wide range of diagnostic testing options available in-office.
He’ll evaluate your condition and determine what tests may need to be performed in order to secure an accurate diagnosis. Once a diagnosis is made, Dr. Bowen will provide you with an explanation of your condition in terms that are simple and easy to understand.
His goal is to minimize the anxiety and stress associated with this entire process.
If you’ve received an abnormal chest X-ray or radiographic study and need to see a pulmonary (lung) specialist, contact our office to schedule an evaluation.