Several options are available to the physician to aid in the
diagnosis and treatment of newly discovered solitary pulmonary nodules.
The physician must take into account a number of factors before
deciding on the best course of action. Nearly all patients with
pulmonary nodules detected on chest radiographs will go on to have a CT
scan to better delineate the lesion. The radiologic characteristics,
along with significant findings from the patient’s history and
physical examination, will determine whether observation, biopsy, or
resection is most appropriate. The growing experience with
video-assisted thoracoscopic procedures has led to combined diagnostic
and therapeutic procedures and, in many cases, the treatment of lung
cancer in earlier stages.