The foremost cause of cancer death in the United States is cancer of the lung. As maintained by the American Cancer Society, there are as many as 170,000 new cases each year, and it kills more people than prostrate, breast, and colon cancer combined. Nodules in the lung are small, brownish, round spots and are quite common. Most are benign, but a few may stand for the early stages of lung cancer.
Convincing data from a number of sources now suggests that in high-risk individuals, CT (computed tomography or CAT) screening is the best method to identify lung cancer in its earliest stage. The majority of the cancers originate as a small development or nodule in the lung. Screening CT scans are really sensitive in identifying nodules as small as 2 or 3mm in the lungs.
There are few symptoms of lung nodules. Frequently they’re spotted on an X-ray as an incidental result, or something not linked to the reason for the X-ray. If they are malignant or cancerous, they will enlarge and develop over time and may begin to cause symptoms like shortness of breath or chest pain.
Your doctor may evaluate your current chest X-ray or CT scan with a preceding one. If the nodule emerges in earlier images and hasn’t altered in size, shape or appearance, it’s maybe noncancerous. Causes of noncancerous lung nodules comprise histoplasmosis, hematoma, vascular abnormalities, tuberculosis, and lung cysts. The noncancerous nodules typically need no treatment; however, your doctor will possibly monitor the nodule for alterations making use of periodic imaging tests. Even though the majority lung nodules are noncancerous, some stand for early-stage lung cancer.
As concerns radiation therapy, it consists of high-energy X-ray beams aimed at the nodule. The purpose is to minimize the tumor and lessen the symptoms. Effectiveness relates to the kind of delivery and the other treatments performed in combination with the radiation. Side effects of radiation consist of the tendency to tire easily, loss of appetite, inflammation in the lungs, loss of hair on the chest, and skin irritation.