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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Lung Cancer Screening, Version 1.2017

If there is high concern for cancer, the next step

would be to have a biopsy (remove one or more

samples of tissue) or surgery (remove the entire

nodule) to check for cancer. This is done by looking

at the cells under a microscope. If no cancer is

found, your next LDCT should be in 1 year. If cancer

is confirmed, you can start cancer treatment.

If a solid endobronchial nodule is found, your next

LDCT will be in 1 month. This type of nodule can

grow in the large breathing tubes that lead to the

lungs. If the nodule is found and intense coughing

starts, the LDCT will be done soon after. If there is

no resolve, then a bronchoscopy should be done. A

bronchoscopy is when a thin, long tool is guided into

the airways to look at or remove tissue.

Next steps if non-solid lung nodule

Guide 6

lists when you should get your next

screening test based on the results of the first LDCT

test for a non-solid nodule. Many of these nodules

can be followed with an LDCT once a year. You

should have an LDCT in 6 months for a non-solid

lung nodule that is 20 mm or larger.

Non-solid nodules may be cancer, but they may also

be small areas of infection or inflammation that can

resolve. Nodules that are large are more likely to be

cancer than smaller nodules. The more likely there’s

cancer, the sooner the second test will be suggested.

If a non-solid nodule develops a solid part on a future

LDCT, this is a sign it could be cancer. A biopsy or

surgery is usually recommended.


What happens after the first test? First screening LDCT

Guide 6. Non-solid lung nodule on the first LDCT

Size of lung nodule

When should you get the first follow-up test?

<20 mm

Get an LDCT in a year

≥20 mm

Get an LDCT in 6 months