Lung Screening and Nodule Program

The Yale Lung Nodule Program, a part of the Yale Lung Screening Program, has been designed to evaluate individuals who have had lung nodules identified on a screening CT scans or on scans performed for other diagnostic reasons.

What is a lung nodule?

Nodules are small spots or abnormalities seen on chest x-rays or CT scans. CT scans are very good at detecting lung nodules. In fact, 25% of people who undergo screening for lung cancer will have a lung nodule. However, it is important to know that greater than 95% of these nodules are not cancers. That is why proper interpretation of a CT scan is vital. The Yale Lung Screening and Nodule Program’s team is experienced in evaluating lung nodules to determine whether they are malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). This team will ensure that any nodule found is carefully examined, and, if necessary, will implement a plan on how to monitor, evaluate, and treat the nodule.

 What happens when you come to the Yale Lung Nodule Program?

You will meet with one of our experienced clinicians who will carefully assess your risk factors for developing lung cancer and will review your scan with our chest radiologists. As a team, we will collectively determine what, if anything should be done. Evaluating your lung cancer risk factors is an important part of this evaluation.

What if your nodule needs further evaluation?

If our team feels that your nodule is suspicious for cancer, we will work with you through an appropriate evaluation. If further testing or a biopsy is needed, we will guide you through that process.

If your nodule is not cancer, what could it be?

Many lung conditions can leave temporary or permanent footprints on the lungs, for example a scar left from a past lung infection. These footprints are like freckles or scars on your skin; they are present but are not causing any harm. Your discussion with the nodule program team will help us understand what the potential causes of your nodule might be.