What Does a Spot on My X-Ray Mean?

lung doctor w patientOne of the scariest things you can hear is that your doctor has found a spot on your lung x-ray. While having a spot on your lungs is not the normal state of things, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have lung cancer or another fatal disease. While having something fatal is a possibility, the chances are less than five percent that the spot your doctor has found, called a pulmonary nodule, is indicating that this is the case.

Pulmonary Nodule Causes

The causes of nodules appearing on your lung x-ray can be caused by a number of reasons. Sometimes they are caused by non-infectious diseases such as sarcoidosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Other times, an inflammation may be the cause. This can be the case with a regular lung infection or tuberculosis. Abnormal growths called neoplasms may be another cause. These can be either cancerous or non-cancerous. The only way your doctor can know for sure what is causing the pulmonary nodules in your case is by conducting further tests.

What Next?

If your doctor finds a pulmonary nodule on your x-ray, he will first want to assess your medical and lifestyle history to see what your chances of having lung cancer might be. Next, he will examine the size and shape of the nodule. If the nodule is less than three centimeters in size and the shape is smooth or otherwise regular, the chances of it being cancerous are lower. If the nodule is larger than three centimeters or the shape is irregular, there is more cause for concern. For a smaller nodule, the doctor may order regularly scheduled CT scans to see if it is growing.

Further tests may be needed if the nodule is growing or is already large. These can include a biopsy, which is using a needle to extract a small sample of the module for closer examination. Depending on the results of all the follow-up tests, you and your doctor will need to sit down and discuss what is to happen next. What is most important at this point, is to not panic and wait for the results to come in.

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Dr. Marc Bowen has earned a great reputation for his work with pulmonary diseases. For nearly thirty years, he has given his time and dedication to offering patients the best possible care available. If you feel you may be having problems with your lungs, make an appointment today to get examined. Once we review your medical history and symptoms, we will know better what the next step in getting you back on the path to health is. Don’t wait. The sooner you see us, the less you will worry and the greater your chances of returning to your greatest state of health possible.

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