A spot or mark that can be seen on an X-ray or CT scan of the lungs is considered to be a lung spot. There are numerous possible causes of lung spots and not all of them need to be a great cause for alarm. Your physician will still likely want to monitor any lung spots to make sure there is no evidence of a serious condition like cancer. Discuss all the possibilities with your doctor if you are diagnosed with one or more lung spots and try to stay calm while you wait for your results to come back. Actually lung spots are much more common than many people assume.
Nodules that are found in the lung are often caused by infection, inflammation or are a tumor. One of the more common causes of lung spots are known as granulomas. Infections of the lungs with inflammation severe enough to cause scarring lead to granulomas, which are simply this scarring of the lungs. Granulomas can also be caused by fungus, usually either histoplasmosis or coccidioidomycosis, according to the National Jewish Medical and Research Center. A malignant or benign tumor is the other typical cause of a spot in the lung.
There are three main ways of identifying the particular type of spot that may be on your lung. Using a CT scan to monitor a spot is the least invasive, easiest and most common way to determine what the cause of a lung spot is. It is likely a tumor if the spot changes over time. It is likely a granuloma if the spot stays the same. To further test for cancer if the spot increases in size, a doctor will request a transthoracic needle aspiration biopsy (TNAB) to be taken. A total physical examination is the third type of analysis to determine the cause of a lung spot. Your physician will look for certain indicators of particular types of diseases.
There are certain unavoidable causes of lung spots, but there are precaustions and steps you can take. Not smoking can help to minimize your chances of developing a lung spot. Smoking causes damage to the lung and can easily lead to not only cancer, but other serious diseases such as emphysema as well. Treating respiratory diseases and infections as qyuickly as possible to prevent scarring is another good prevention method. Avoid working with asbestos if at all possible, and if you must work with it, be sure to take proper precautions and use masks to avoid breathing asbestos particles into your lungs.