A transthoracic needle aspiration (TTNA), which uses a long
needle inserted through the chest wall, can sometimes be used to remove a
tissue sample from an SPN. This usually is done if the abnormal lung tissue is
located close to the chest wall. Imaging procedures such as CT scan,
fluoroscopy typically are used to help guide the needle
to the right spot. Another possible test is bronchoscopy with transbronchial
biopsy (TBB). In this test, a flexible tube is inserted through the nose and
down to the lungs. A camera in the tube shows where the SPN is, and a tiny tool
in the same tube takes a small sample of the SPN tissue.
cancerous nodules can be identified through biopsy, but positive identification
of noncancerous nodules can still be difficult. If a biopsy shows cancer,
surgery can often remove the cancer. If your doctor determines that you have a
high risk of having a cancerous nodule, he or she may decide not to do this
test and instead recommend surgery to remove the nodule. A
pathologist looks at the nodule under a microscope to
see if it is cancer.
Follow-up testing for a noncancerous SPN
includes chest X-rays or CT scans as often as your doctor recommends to look
for any change in the size or shape of the nodule.