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Spots on lungs. Family history of lung cancer. What steps should be taken?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 961 Questions
I had a question regarding "spots" on the lung. I was informed that they also found a 2 cm "spot" on the lower left lobe. I know some refer to "having spots", but I didn't think "spot" was a medical term. My understanding is anything 2 cm or less is a nodule, anything greater is considered a mass. Am I correct? My physician vaguely addressed it to me, and said not to worry about it.

What steps should I take to ensure that it is in fact, nothing? My father, both of my
grandparents, and 2 aunts to lung cancer. My father and grandfather were the only smokers. Cancer has been prevalent on both sides of my family, which makes it difficult for me to ignore.
I would greatly appreciate any advisement you may be able to provide to me.
Posted Mon, 10 Jun 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Prasad Akole 1 hour later
Dear friend, welcome to Healthcaremagic!
I am Dr. Prasad Akole (Critical Care Expert- and am glad to address to your query here.

You already are well informed.
You are correct in calling it a lung nodule (which is a lesion radiologically <3 cm).
Usually small lesions like nodules are non-cancerous. Small benign lesions are harmless.
If your doctor feels it is benign and can be ignores, it is likely harmless.

But with a family history of lung cancer, you have to be suspicious.
It may not be cancer. But we need to evaluate.

It would greatly help if you could upload the images/ reports here using the uploading service available on this site just below the text box. You can email the reports / scans to
YYYY@YYYY      with subject- (Attn: Dr. Prasad Akole)

Please describe if you are a smoker, have cough, fever, breathlessness, sputum, pain in the chest?
Do you have any other symptoms?

I would advise a pulmonologist’s opinion and a HRCT scan of the thorax to know the characteristics of the lesion.
Bronchoscopy and lung biopsy can only conclude if the lesion is cancerous or not.

If I can view the Xray or scan image, I may offer better advice.

I hope to have answered your query satisfactorily. I would be glad to answer any further queries. Take care and please keep me informed of your progress at
Good Luck!

As it helps us to improve continuously, may I request you to write a rating review before you ‘accept’ and ‘close’ the query anytime.
Thank you!!
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