NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer - page 17

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Version 1.2014
Part 2: Lung nodules
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2.3 Lung cancer screening
Often, the use of one imaging test detects a nodule but
it isn’t clear whether the nodule is cancer. Thus, tests
need to be repeated to look for increases in nodule
size or density over time. Such changes are likely
signs of cancer. Based on the imaging results, the
recommendations for screening are:
Imaging results
Small nodule
Follow NCCN Guidelines
for Lung Cancer Screening
Medium-sized non-solid or
part-solid nodule
Get LDCT (
omography) in
3–6 months
Medium-sized solid nodule Consider getting PET/CT
Large nodule
See a surgeon
For small nodules, the lung cancer screening guidelines
recommended by NCCN should be followed. The NCCN
Guidelines for Patients
: Lung Cancer Screening can be
found on
. Tests repeated over time
will help your doctors know if the nodule is cancer.
A medium-sized non-solid or part-solid nodule should
be tested again in 3 to 6 months with a spiral LDCT of
the chest. This imaging test takes many pictures of the
insides of your body from different angles using x-rays.
The amount of radiation used is much lower
than standard doses of a CT scan. Getting a LDCT scan
is much like getting the imaging test you’ve had before.
A picture of a CT machine is shown in Figure 3.
For a medium-sized solid nodule, think about getting
PET with CT instead of LDCT. A PET/CT scan may
find if there’s cancer quicker than LDCTs repeated
over a period of time. It may also show signs of cancer
spreading in the body.
Nodules that are large are likely cancer. In this case,
you should see a surgeon. The surgeon can remove
the nodule and test it for cancer.
Redness and swelling from
injury or infection
A small mass of tissue
A substance that releases a
small amount of radiation
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