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Lung nodule program

Comprehensive care for detecting, evaluating, monitoring and treating people with lung nodules

The Lung Nodule Program offers evaluation and management of lung nodules and lung masses. Our team of lung specialists, lung surgeons, advanced practice providers and nurse coordinators work together to create a plan that cares for your individual needs.


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What it is

The Lung Nodule Program  sees patients who have had a chest X-ray or CT scan that shows a nodule or spot on the lung that needs further evaluation and management. While most nodules are benign (noncancerous), others can be malignant (cancerous).

The program offers multidisciplinary lung nodule care in one convenient location. Our team of experts evaluates you using evidence-based guidelines. Members of this team include:

  • cancer rehabilitation specialists
  • genetic counselors
  • integrative health practitioners
  • medical oncologists
  • nurse coordinators
  • palliative care specialists
  • pathologists
  • pulmonologists, interventional pulmonologist
  • radiation oncologists
  • radiologists
  • support coordinators
  • thoracic surgeons

A nurse coordinator will guide you from your first appointment through the process.

Good to know

The Lung Nodule Program at Abbott Northwestern Hospital is a collaboration between the hospital, the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute, Minnesota Lung Center and Minnesota Oncology - Thoracic Surgery.

The Lung Nodule Program at Virginia Piper Cancer Institute – Mercy Hospital is a collaboration between the hospital, the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute, Allina Health pulmonologists, MN Oncology, Metropolitan Heart and Lung, and Midwest Radiology.

The Lung Nodule Program at Virginia Piper Cancer Institute – United Hospital is a multidisciplinary program and collaboration between the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute, Allina Health Pulmonology, MN Oncology, Radiation Oncologists and Thoracic Surgery, and Midwest Radiology.

Good for preventing

Evaluation and management through the Lung Nodule Clinic helps determine the nature of the nodule so that appropriate care can be provided.

Larger nodules can cause symptoms, including:

  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • coughing up blood
  • back pain
  • weight loss


Smoking is the main risk factor that can increase your risk of developing lung cancer. In fact, about 90 percent of lung cancer cases are associated with smoking. Quitting smoking may help reduce the risk of developing lung cancer.

Good for treating


In general, lung nodules do not cause any symptoms. Most lung nodules are found on X-ray or CT scans that are done for other medical reasons. They may also be detected in CT scans done for lung cancer screening. Benign (noncancerous) nodules are often the result of previous infections. Malignant (cancerous) nodules are often associated with smoking or exposure to asbestos or radon gas.

Your care team may need to do additional testing, including:


Your pulmonary nodule team will work with you to develop a care plan that is unique to your diagnosis and individual preferences.

What to expect

You will meet with a lung specialist during your first appointment at the Lung Nodule Program. You are encouraged to bring your medical history, medications and a family member or friend. You will leave your appointment with a personalized plan and schedule for follow-up care.

Source: Allina Health Cancer Care
Reviewed by: Allina Health Cancer Care

First published: 6/3/2019
Last reviewed: 6/3/2019