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The Lung Nodule Program 

Preventative Screening of Lung Nodules

If you've been diagnosed with lung lesions or nodules, you're not alone. Every year, more than 150,000 people are diagnosed with pulmonary nodules. They are usually found by chance in otherwise healthy patients without symptoms of cough, bloody mucus, or unexplained weight loss.

While more than 90 percent of these nodules are harmless, a small number may represent a very early lung tumor.

No doubt, a diagnosis of pulmonary nodules can cause great fear, anxiety and stress. It's not always necessary to surgically remove a lesion only to discover it's benign. You can now be evaluated, carefully monitored and treated through the Lung Nodule Program. Studies show that careful surveillance can eliminate unnecessary surgery and diagnose lung cancer at a curable stage.

The Lung Nodule Program is one of only a handful of programs in the country and the first in the Philadelphia region.

The goal of the lung nodule program is two-fold:

  • Save patients from unnecessary surgery
  • Catch lung cancer early when it is most treatable

The Lung Nodule Program is staffed by a highly skilled team of thoracic surgeons, medical oncologists, thoracic radiologists and advanced practice nurses. You'll receive an initial consultation with a Penn thoracic surgeon who may then refer you to the lung nodule program.

What Can You Expect from the Lung Nodule Program?

The lung nodule program evaluates patients within a week of referral, following your diagnosis. The appointment includes:

  • A baseline CT scan
  • Expert interpretation by the chest radiologists from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania's division of thoracic imaging
  • Examination by a Penn thoracic surgeon

The surgeon and advanced practice nurse will then develop an individualized care plan and schedule follow-up scans at regular intervals over the next two years. You'll receive an appointment reminder for subsequent multidetector CT exams at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. These serial CT scan studies provide the team with precise indications of changes in the nodule.

Patient Benefits
  • Elimination of unnecessary surgery due to close monitoring of nodules
  • Improved treatment outcomes. 
  • Reduced anxiety due to close monitoring by the specialized chest radiologists at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  • Care from advanced practice nurses who are experts in thoracic (chest) diseases

In This Section

Lung Nodule Team

Meet our physicians who diagnose and treat lung nodules.

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