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Dark Lung Spots on X-Ray


Dark Nodule on Lung (top View)

CC BY-SA 3.0

CC BY-SA 3.0

What does an X-ray show?

Did a recent X-Ray or CT Scan show dark spots on the lungs? You will be surprised as to how many other things they can be and not necessary mean signs of cancer.

Someone close to me had a recent Ct scan performed. A few days later she was told that the scan showed a small black spot in a lung. Lung spots and links to cancer seemed to everyone to be a certainty. Dark lung spots on X-Ray does not necessarily mean bad news.

Almost immediately worries began to mount and I began investigating the main causes of lung spots and any possible links that could lead to cancer.

After some consultations and research we were surprised by the results. It was surprising to find out just how many things can result in lung spots, which to a CT scan or X-ray look the same as cancer.

If you have had a history of serious respiratory infections, severe colds, or other respiratory issues, like pneumonia, it is common for your lungs to scar. The scarring will show up as black spots in the CT/X-ray scan. Nodules which form as a result of the scarring, and sometimes by fungus, are called granulomas *, and are fairly common, although in some cases they can be caused by benign or cancerous tumors. In my relation's case, she has had a history of nodules in her neck and colon, so the expectancy is that it will the same this time.

Your doctor will monitor the spots in several ways, the most common being to take regular CT scans or X-rays over a period of time (usually every six months) and measure changes in the size of the spots. If no change occurs, it will most likely be scarring or other benign cause. It the spots begin to grow or multiply, then more aggressive testing is begun such as performing a biopsy to test the samples for the presence of cancer.

A complete medical exam is also a way for your doctor to determine if cancer is present or lung spots are due to something else. Cancer can also be determined by blood analysis as it releases a protein which can easily be detected.

If you still have concerns after consulting your doctor, then a visit to a cancer research center, such as the University of Miami Sylvester Cancer Center would be advisable. See

Not all causes of lung disease, which can show up as lung spots, can be prevented, but if you have a respiratory infection seek treatment promptly to avoid scarring, always avoid working near contaminants such as asbestos, and above all DO NOT SMOKE. See also

Want more cancer related advice?


Great informative video

Other Resources

  • NIBIB - Home
    Government Cancer InformationResearchers at NIBIB-funded Biomedical Technology Resource Centers to be awarded gold medals by the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine Drs. Chien Ho and Mitchell Schnall are honored by ISMRM for the
  • Sylvester
    Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center opened in 1992 to provide comprehensive cancer services to the South Florida community. Together with the 40-bed inpatient hospital, UMHC – University of Miami Hospital & Clinics, Sylvester/UMHC serves as the

More great videos

What's next?

After all is said and done, the best defense is still to do check ups frequently and if something is found, early treatment is often the difference between a full recovery or a more serous results.

Never give up and always do what the professionals advise you to do.

Anytime that you have a persistent cough, especially a dry non-productive (does not generate phlegm) one that goes on for several days and does not seem to be getting better, seek the advice of your doctor.

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Nothing beast getting a doctor's advice, especially one you know and trust.

Procrastinating is the worst thing that you or anyone can do when it comes to your health.

When caught early many diseases can be cured and keep in mind that new scientific and medical breakthroughs are being developed with speeds not seen before.

What was true yesterday might not be true today. Educate yourself along with the advice of medical experts.

Lung cancer video

For Further Reading

Want to read more?

  • No Nonsense Cancer Advise - LE Gonzalez - Google Books
    Some no nonsense advise and common sense tips for anyone who has a family member or may have themselves diagnosed with this deadly disease. Included are some research tips, a list of cancer fighting foods and other suggestions. These suggestion have

Pulmonary fibrosis

(CC BY-SA 3.0

(CC BY-SA 3.0

© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez


Shirley Allmon on October 27, 2018:

I have Emphysema for several years getting worse and told I had three spots on my lungs and they had been watching them for sometime and nothing had changed but the doctors never told me about them over the time. Of course I went numb I had lost two brothers to lung cancer. I couldn’t think to ask questions the doctor said no more antibiotics,CAT scans or MRI. I had been really sick for about two and Half weeks a lot of medicine. He told me to do my breathing treatments three a day , my Anoro and Emergy disk

Luis E Gonzalez (author) from Miami, Florida on April 12, 2012:

Scars on a lung as shown by a ct scan could be several things, including a previous illness. However, The authoritative voice for any medical issues is always a medical professional no matter what you may read anywhere.

Justyna on April 12, 2012:

My granny had previously two cancers. Tuesday this week she had to go to the hospital as it occurred that she has liquid in her left lung. We thought that it may be something caused by her heart or blood circulation as she always felt cold and recently was out of breath. However when they did lung xray, they said that there is a small dark spot or a shadow on her left lung. When she had her markers done a couple of months ago, to see if any cancer tissue was back her levels were slightly above the norm but the doctors didn't say that its abnormal. When reading some articles we assumed that it must be caused by her flue she caught when she came to visit us. On the xray she had done a couple of days ago, the doctors said that she has scars and then a day later they said that there is that shadow on her lung. Could that possibly mean that she might have lung cancer?

Luis E Gonzalez (author) from Miami, Florida on January 22, 2012:

billips: Thank you

billips from Central Texas on January 22, 2012:

This is a very useful hub of the non-panicking variety - it is good for people to know that not every strange symptom indicates major problems - I carry some residual respiratory spots, so I know whereof you speak - and your warnings are the perfect 'final word' - B.

Luis E Gonzalez (author) from Miami, Florida on August 16, 2011:

Sunshine625: Thank you, and prayers to you and your husband, hope that everything turns out well.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on August 16, 2011:

Excellent hub Luis! My husband has a CT Scan scheduled Thursday for spots on his lungs.Thanks for the informative hub!

BenjaminB on March 18, 2011:

Interesting stuff here Luis. I currently have an uncle dieing from lung and brain cancer that started in his lung. He has a lawsuit out against the doctor who had done some testing on him previously and failed to mention to him that he saw a spot on his lung. The doctor contends he deemed it as nothing serious thus didn't feel it necessary to mention. Other doctors have said if the cancer had been caught at that time he would not be dieing now and it wouldn't have spread to his brain. Given my uncles history of respiratory ailments and smoking I think the doctor probably just chalked it up to scarring.Still ,not mentioning it at all was a complete mistake one that cost my uncle his life which will end soon.

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