NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer - page 13

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Version 1.2014
Part 2: Lung nodules
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2.1 Am I at risk?
If a test shows a nodule in your lung, your doctors will need to decide if it is
likely cancer. They will assess your risk factors for lung cancer, how the nodule
looks, and other factors. Your doctors will likely include a pulmonologist—an
expert of lung diseases, and a thoracic radiologist—an expert of imaging tests
of the chest.
Risk factors
Some people are more likely to develop lung cancer than others. Anything
that increases your chances of lung cancer is called a risk factor. Risk factors
can be activities that people do, things in the environment, or personal traits.
If one or more risk factors apply to you, it doesn’t mean you have lung cancer.
Likewise, lung cancer occurs in some people who have no known risk factors.
If you have a nodule, the risk factors doctors use to help decide if the nodule
may be cancer are:
Being older in age
Contact with cancer-causing agents
Tobacco smoking
Infectious diseases of the lung
Having had cancer
Having had other lung diseases
Family who’ve had lung cancer
Imaging test
: A test that
makes pictures of the
insides of the body
Infectious disease
: An
illness caused by germs
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