Lung nodules, also medically referred to as pulmonary nodules are miniature, roundish growth that appear on the lung, that is usually about three centimeters or less in size. Lung nodules can be cancerous or can be caused by other serious diseases. Cancerous nodules are usually identified by rapid growth that quickly become masses. About 40 percent of pulmonary nodule cases turn out to be cancerous, so most lung nodules are treated as cancerous until it can be proven otherwise. A lung nodule that is cancerous can usually double in size as quickly as every 25 days. The biggest numbers of occurring lung nodules cases are classified as ‘benign’ which means it has very little growth.
Lung nodules may be contracted as a result of a number of reasons, the most popular of which is lung cancer as well as it can also be the first stage leading up to lung cancer. It can also be developed as a result of the metastasis of other forms of cancers. Long nodules can also occur from other small tumor growths in the body such as carcinoid, lymphoma, blastoma, hamartoma, sarcoma, firbroma and neurofibroma. Lymphoma is a tumor that forms within the cells of the lymphoid system. Blastoma is a tumor that develops from the embryonic tissue. Hamartoma is due to a disorganization of a group of cells in the body. Sarcoma is a group of tumors that arise from connective cells. Fibroma and Neurofibroma are non cancerous tumors made up of nerve fibers.
Risk of lung nodules also increase when exposed to Infections from viruses like tuberculosis, immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and fungus like cryptococcosis and histoplasmosis can also cause lung nodules. Tuberculosis spreads from person to person contact or breathing in the tuberculosis bacteria. Most fungus like crptococcosis grow in soil and materials contaminated with bird or bat faeces. Infection of fungus can also become passed on by the wid when the contaminated soil is disturbed. Particularly persons who farm, do gardening ,construction jobs, cave divers or any other task which requires them to be around certain bacteria automatically increase their risk to be infected with fungus.
Other serious disease that cause lung nodules include infections like lung abscess, Hydatid cyst and pneumonia. An abscess is a collection of pus that develops in response to an infection. It usually becomes visible as a swollen area and can be very dicomforting. The skin around it usually turns red or pink. Hydatid cyst are abnormal sac-like formation that can be found anywhere in the body and can hold fluid or gaseous substances with an outer wall called a capsule. Pneumonia is formed as a result of an inflammation of one or both lungs with consolidation. Pneumonia can be due to an infection as well as it can be otherwise and the infection may be viral, fungal, bacterial or parasitic. Most of these infections are treatable with medication and the patient can make a full recovery.
Pulmonary nodules are normally diagnosed through physical examinations, chest x-rays and CT scans.