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Pulmonary Nodules

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 5, 2023.

Pulmonary nodules are areas of abnormal tissue in your lungs. You may not have any symptoms, or you may have chest tightness, a cough, chest pain, or shortness of breath. Nodules are usually found with an x-ray or CT scan. Most nodules are not cancerous. However, it is still important for you to return for follow-up testing to monitor your condition.


Call 911 for any of the following:

  • You have severe shortness of breath or trouble breathing.
  • Your lips or nails look blue or pale.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You cough up blood.
  • You suddenly feel lightheaded or are short of breath.
  • You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough.
  • You cannot think clearly.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your symptoms do not improve.
  • You have new symptoms.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Follow up with your healthcare provider:

Your healthcare provider will refer you to a pulmonologist. Your pulmonologist will monitor your nodules for any change or growth. Nodules that grow quickly may require a biopsy to check for cancer. You may need to be monitored for 1 to 3 years. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Do not smoke:

Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can cause lung damage or cancer. Stay away from others who smoke. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you or someone close to you currently smokes and needs help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.