Thoracic Surgery Services




Preventative Screening

Lung Nodule Program

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Preventative Screening

Each year more than 150,000 patients present to their physicians with pulmonary intermediate nodules. These nodules are round or oval in shape and are defined as lung lesions, less than 1 cm, with clearly defined borders. And, while more than ninety percent are harmless, a small number may represent a very early tumor. These nodules are usually found incidentally in otherwise healthy patients without symptoms of cough, bloody mucus, or unexplained weight loss.

The presence of pulmonary indeterminate nodules can cause a considerable amount of anxiety and stress. Rather than having surgery only to discover a lesion is benign, patients can now be evaluated, carefully monitored and treated through a new, specialized service at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania called the Lung Nodule Program. Studies have shown that careful surveillance can eliminate unnecessary surgery and diagnose lung cancer at a curable stage.

The Lung Nodule Program is staffed by a multidisciplinary team including thoracic surgeons, medical oncologists, thoracic radiologists, and advanced practice nurses. Patients will have an initial consultation with a Penn thoracic surgeon, who may then refer patients to the Lung Nodule Program.

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