The CHI St. Vincent Lung Nodule Clinic provides evidence-based testing and monitoring for persons with lung (pulmonary) nodules. The clinic team reviews a person’s health history and works with the patient and referring physician to quickly diagnose the nodule, provide a personalized monitoring and treatment plan, and guide the patient throughout the entire process.The nurse navigator assists each patient through diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care.
A solitary lung nodule is a lung mass measuring less than 3 centimeters in diameter. These nodules most often prove to be benign (non-cancerous) tumors, however, 20 to greater than 65 percent may progress to becoming a malignant form of cancer – especially in older adults and smokers.
Often, a single test cannot determine the exact nature of a nodule, frequently additional, more advanced testing is required. Commonly, when a lung nodule is detected on a chest X-ray or heart scan, follow-up CT or PET (computed or positron emission tomography) scans become necessary.
Positive outcomes are linked to early diagnosis and individualized treatment plans. Too often a nodule, although producing few or no symptoms, can be a sign of – or develop into – a more serious medical concern. Some nodules and conditions, such as lung cancer, may be slow growing. Therefore, it becomes necessary to monitor nodules over time to help ensure timely diagnosis and treatment.