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How are benign lung nodules and tumors diagnosed?

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In addition to taking a history and doing a  physical exam, your doctor may simply "watch" a nodule, taking repeated X-rays over a period of two years. This period could be longer if the nodule is smaller than 6 millimeters and your risk is low. If the nodule remains the same size for at least two years, it is considered benign. That's because benign lung nodules grow slowly, if at all. On the other hand, cancerous nodules, on average, double in size every four months. Your doctor may continue to check your lung nodule each year for up to five years to ensure that it is benign.

From: Lung Nodules and Benign Lung Tumors WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: University of Rochester Medical Center: "Pulmonary Nodules." Medscape: "Can Malignant and Benign Pulmonary Nodules Be Differentiated With Diffusion-Weighted MRI?" MedlinePlus: "Solitary Pulmonary Nodule." EMedicine from WebMD: "Benign Lung Tumors," "Hamartoma, Lung," and "Solitary Pulmonary Nodule." MacMahon, H et al. "Guidelines for Management of Small Pulmonary Nodules Detected on CT Scans: A Statement from the Fleischner Society," 2005; vol 237:pp 395–400. Radiology

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on January 15, 2017

SOURCES: University of Rochester Medical Center: "Pulmonary Nodules." Medscape: "Can Malignant and Benign Pulmonary Nodules Be Differentiated With Diffusion-Weighted MRI?" MedlinePlus: "Solitary Pulmonary Nodule." EMedicine from WebMD: "Benign Lung Tumors," "Hamartoma, Lung," and "Solitary Pulmonary Nodule." MacMahon, H et al. "Guidelines for Management of Small Pulmonary Nodules Detected on CT Scans: A Statement from the Fleischner Society," 2005; vol 237:pp 395–400. Radiology

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on January 15, 2017

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What are the differences between benign nodules and cancerous nodules?

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