lung nodule treatment Singapore

Lung Nodule Treatment

A lung nodule (or pulmonary nodule) is a small, round growth typically seen as spots on the chest x-ray or CT scan of the lungs. Most nodules are benign; however, a careful clinical evaluation must be done to assess the malignancy risk, which could save your life. Despite the low chances of lung nodules being cancerous, seeing a thoracic specialist to differentiate between benign and malignant lung nodules as early as possible is essential.

Importance of Early Lung Nodule Screening

Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in Singapore in both men and women, and the survival rates remain poor without early-stage lung cancer resection. Lung nodule doctors will often treat each pulmonary nodule case as if it were cancerous, which improves the chances of survival — highlighting the importance of early lung screening and detection.

SG lung nodule clinic

Causes, Risk Factors and Symptoms of Nodules in the Lungs

Suppose you recently had a low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan or a chest x-ray that incidentally revealed a white spot, or lung nodule, in your chest. In that case, you may be concerned about the chances of the nodule being cancerous.

Infections, inflammation, or the abnormal growth of cells typically cause isolated or multiple lung nodules:

  • Common infectious causes include bacteria, fungi, and viruses. 
  • Inflammatory conditions such as sarcoidosis or Wegener’s granulomatosis can also cause lung nodules. 
  • Abnormal cell growths or neoplasms may be benign (such as hamartomas) or malignant (such as lung cancer). 

Lung nodule risk factors vary depending on the aetiology of the condition. Common risk factors for infection-related nodules include smoking, immunosuppression, exposure to occupational hazards (e.g. asbestos), and a history of chronic respiratory diseases. Risk factors for neoplasm-related nodules include:

  • age (over 50 years old),
  • family history of cancer, and
  • long-term exposure to air pollutants or other carcinogens.

One of the best things you can do to reduce your risk of developing a cancerous lung nodule is to stop smoking, as it’s one of the primary causes of lung cancer.

Lung nodule symptoms vary depending on the underlying cause but can include chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, fatigue, fever, weight loss, and wheezing. In some cases, no symptoms may be present at all. 

As most lung nodules are incidentally discovered, early assessment of the nodule is vital to determine cancer risk.

Detection of Lung Nodules and Follow-up

The Neumark Lung Screening Programme provides a range of screening and diagnostic tests to detect lung nodules. At the core of our comprehensive screening is a 10-minute low-dose computerised tomography (CT) imaging exam.

Lung nodules are commonly found during lung screenings using low-dose CT scans or discovered with X-ray imaging tests when checking for other respiratory conditions. Our multidisciplinary team of experts reviews all results to understand better the size and location of your lung nodule.

Following the lung nodule CT scan results, a follow-up with our thoracic specialist will be scheduled to discuss the results and answer your questions thoroughly. As most individuals in Singapore are eligible for lung screenings, getting screened early is essential to detect early lung cancers.

Lung Nodule Treatment Options

Regardless of the size, our lung nodule specialists will create a plan to monitor how the cell mass evolves. Most patients with lung nodules will schedule periodic follow-up appointments to monitor growth and changes over time. These regular follow-ups will ensure your care team can catch any signs of lung cancer early — or provide peace of mind that you don’t have cancer.

If you have been diagnosed with one or multiple lung nodules, you will be referred to a thoracic surgeon with training and experience in treating lung conditions. Cancerous growths often require quick intervention via lung nodule surgery. More specifically: 

  • Robotic thoracic surgery with the Da Vinci robotic system. Our expert surgeon’s hands guide the surgical instruments to perform highly-precise procedures.
  • Uniportal video-assisted thoracic surgery is an advanced thoracoscopic technique to remove pulmonary nodules, offering patients a less invasive procedure with minimal incisions to facilitate optimal lung nodule removal recovery.

Our comprehensive lung nodule treatments range from minimally invasive surgical resection to advanced clinical therapies.

At Neumark Lung & Chest Surgical Centre, our leading team is equipped with the latest techniques for detecting, testing, and removing abnormal lung growths and managing other lung diseases and chest conditions.

Patients who seek treatment at Neumark have access to the expertise of Dr Harish Mithiran, director and senior consultant thoracic surgeon at Gleneagles Hospital. Our patients benefit from personalised care coordination and groundbreaking minimally-invasive treatment modalities to improve outcomes.

FAQs about Lung Nodules

Typically, nodules less than 6 mm in diameter have a lower risk of cancer at less than 1 percent of cases. Nodules greater than 8 mm need to be monitored closely and carefully as the risk of malignancy increases with the size.

Suppose the lung nodule size increases over time or exhibits other concerning features, such as an irregular lung nodule shape or abnormal consistency. In this case, removal is recommended, as there is a 40 to 80 percent probability that pulmonary nodules larger than 20 mm are often malignant.

It is possible to have multiple pulmonary nodules, and it is essential to note that numerous nodules do not necessarily indicate malignancy or metastasis. Upon further examination, medical professionals will assess each nodule’s size, shape and location to determine the best course of action for treatment.

Lung nodules are small growths that can form in the lungs. These nodules are usually benign but can increase in size over time and become cancerous. The most common cause of an increasing lung nodule is a type of cancer known as non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Other causes include chronic infections such as tuberculosis or fungal infections, inflammation caused by conditions like sarcoidosis, or radiation therapy for different types of cancer.

Compared to their cancerous counterparts, benign pulmonary nodules do not metastasise to other body parts and are usually non-life threatening. Benign lung tumours are benign as there is very little growth or change in size. In rare cases, it is possible for the nodules to disappear completely without any treatment, as the body’s natural healing process has addressed the underlying cause. Nevertheless, it is important to regularly monitor these nodules to ensure they do not continue to grow.

Yes, benign lung nodules can become cancerous. According to the American Cancer Society, benign nodules have a 5 to 15 percent chance of becoming cancerous lung nodules if they are not monitored. Therefore, follow-up scans and regular check-ups are recommended for people with benign conditions.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website is for general informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The use of this website does not create a doctor-patient relationship and no medical advice should be inferred or assumed. It is the user’s sole responsibility to seek the advice of their healthcare professionals for any medical concerns they may have and the user should not disregard, or delay, prompt medical advice for any such condition.

Singapore Lung Nodule Clinic

Neumark Lung and Chest Surgery Centre benefits from the expertise of a multidisciplinary team led by Dr Harish Mithiran, senior consulting thoracic surgeon at Gleneagles Hospital and Mt Alvernia Hospital.

Neumark is a lung and chest specialist centre with access to leading treatment modalities to achieve the best possible outcomes for lung disease and preventative patient screening.

Our foremost priority is to treat your condition as effectively as possible. Schedule a private consultation today; complete the form below, call, +65 6908 2145; WhatsApp, +65 9726 2485; or email,