It’s important to identify and monitor nodules over time to ensure the earliest possible cancer diagnosis and treatment. If a nodule is detected on an imaging test, it’s helpful to compare your current scan with a previous one. If the nodule is new or has changed in size, shape, or appearance, your doctor may recommend additional testing—such as a CT scan, bronchoscopy, positron emission tomography (PET) scan, or tissue biopsy—to determine if it is cancerous.
Lung nodules may disappear on their own. If the nodule doesn’t change in size, shape, or appearance in two years, it’s probably noncancerous. These stable nodules are often caused by previous infections or inflammation and usually don’t require treatment.