Lungs provide us with an adequate exchange of gases and supply the body with oxygen. The lungs can be affected by many illnesses starting with infection and in severe cases the lung tissue can be damaged by more serious illnesses such as tuberculosis or even lung cancer. Some of the lung conditions feature with nodules on the lungs. These oval or circular structures are easily visualized with the assistance of chest X ray. However, their etiology must be further investigated and once the actual disease is confirmed the patient is treated accordingly.
In some people nodules on the lungs are asymptomatic and can be found accidentally if chest X-ray is performed for other purposes. On the other hand, large nodules (especially if there are many of them) generally cause shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
Causes of Nodules on Lungs
Tuberculosis is a serious lung infection and is typically featured with nodules on the lungs. The infection is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is very contagious and apart from the lungs it can affect many organs such as the kidneys, bones etc. Bacteria enters the body via lungs and further transmission is achieved by blood or direct contact with the infected lung tissue.
One more cause of nodules on lungs is a fungal infection. This infection normally effects people who are engaged in construction work, those employed in carpet factories, farmers and people engaged in gardening.
A collection of blood inside the lung tissue called hematoma may be also visualized on chest X- ray as a nodule. It is a consequence of bleeding inside the lungs and its underlying cause always requires proper evaluation.
Lung cysts are also a form of nodules on lungs. They may be filled with air or fluid. The cysts are generally associated with other lung conditions.
And finally, there are several more illnesses associated with nodules on lungs and they include histoplasmosis, blood clots in lungs, cancer etc.
Treatment for Nodules on Lungs
The actual treatment for nodules on lungs depends in the primary illness. Namely, once the nodules are identified with chest X- ray a doctor performs additional test and examinations in order to set definitive diagnosis. They include complete blood test, CT scan, MRI and biopsy of the nodule. Some nodules are treated conservatively while others require surgical procedure. Even a combination of these two approaches is possible.