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Editorials |

The Diagnostic Strategy for Lung Cancer : Has Determining Malignancy or Benignity Become More Accurate?

Samuel V. Spagnolo, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Washington, DC 
 ,  Dr. Spagnolo is Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary Diseases and Allergy, George Washington University School of Medicine, Senior Attending in Pulmonary Diseases and Director, Respiratory Care, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Washington, DC, and President, The International Lung Foundation

Correspondence to: Samuel V. Spagnolo, MD, FCCP, 2150 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Suite 5–411, Washington, DC 20037



Chest. 2000;117(5):1219-1220. doi:10.1378/chest.117.5.1219
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In 1998, approximately 150,000 Americans were diagnosed with lung cancer.1 In many of these patients, the cancer presented as a solitary pulmonary nodule (SPN). The generally accepted radiologic definition of an SPN is a rounded opacity in the lung with a diameter of < 3 cm. Spicular irregular masses, large masses, or ill-defined masses are not technically “nodules,” although many of the principles described for the management of the SPN may still apply.

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