Sharing Information on Lung Nodules
Last updated: February 2023
In our community forum, someone had questions about nodules, so I thought this would be helpful for those with questions.
What are lung nodules
Lung nodules are small masses that grow inside the lungs. They’re very common and aren't usually cancerous.
They’re often found during chest imaging for an unrelated condition. According to The American Thoracic Society, lung nodules are usually caused by the following:1
- Scar tissue
- Healed infection
- Irritants in the air
Less commonly, nodules can be caused by an inflammatory disease like rheumatoid arthritis. I have also read that nodules can appear after having COVID-19.1,2
Lung nodule facts
I think most of us here have heard of lung nodules, and I am sure I’m not alone in having some myself. Lung nodules are common. Here are some interesting facts.1
- There are over 200,000 cases per year in the US
- Can last for several months
- Are common for ages 50 and older
- More common in males
- Family history may increase likely hood
I have read that the chances of a nodule smaller than 6mm in diameter being cancerous are less than 1%. The odds increase to about 1%-2% for nodules 6-8mm and go up from there. Doctors almost always recommend CT surveillance for nodules 6-8 mm in diameter. 1
Monitoring lung nodules
They often monitored larger nodules with the following:1
- CT scans
- PET scans
- Surgical tissue sample
I’m not sure when they diagnosed me with nodules, but in 2019 when I had a CT, the impression said unchanged both in terms of the location of the nodules.
I have had yearly scans since then to monitor things. In January 2021, the impression stated that there were new, irregularly shaped 4-5 mm nodules in the left lower lobe.
It said short-term CT follow-up was suggested. In May 2021, I had a follow-up, and the impression was stable, with no nodule changes.
I have had no more follow-up CTs but have had X-rays. My next CT scan will be later this year. Hopefully, they will remain stable for that CT as well.
Even though nodules are common, waiting for the CT results is scary each time I have to.
What are the symptoms of lung modules?
Although most of us with COPD already have these symptoms, they may be new symptoms to some people.
Symptoms of lung nodules may include:1
Some of my suggestions for foods to eat with nodules are:
- Carotenoid-rich foods such as carrots and sweet potatoes
- Vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage
- Selenium foods such as whole grains, Brazil nuts, and tuna
- Vitamin E-rich foods such as nuts, avocados, and mangos
- Omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods such as fish and salmon
- Vitamin C-rich foods such as oranges
Foods to avoid:
- Limit fat intake, such as saturated fat in meat
I think what I have taken away from this is that many of us here on this forum probably have and are being monitored for nodules. I hope this was helpful and explained the information well to you all.
Doing this research has helped me understand it better.
Have any of you had lung nodules? I’d love for you to share your experience with us in the comments below.
Do you feel comfortable asking your doctor questions about your COPD?