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When it comes to lung densities on imaging studies, it is important to diagnose them as quickly as possible in order to begin treatment. That is usually much easier said than done, however, and treatments can be delayed as you wait for a proper diagnosis.

As we have seen time and time again in our investigation of suspicious densities on the lungs, there are several different agents that can cause these markings [1]. They can be caused by anything between lesions for lung cancer to signs of a lung infection. These infections can also be caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi so the therapy is highly dependent on what you ultimately are diagnosed with. Here, we will cover some of the early steps you will need to take in order to get to the bottom of the source of the lesions and what you need to do when treating suspicious densities on the lungs. 

After Lesions are Found, What to do Next

Once you hear the news that there is something suspicious on a Chest X-ray, the anxiety and stress you feel will only grow day by day as you await a diagnosis from the doctor [2]. This can be a very trying time for you but there are some things that you need to try to do in order to make sure the doctors know as much information as possible in order to help pinpoint your diagnosis. It is up to you to try to remember any strange or bizarre symptoms that you may have felt prior to these lesions being discovered. This is much easier said than done, however, because there are numerous diseases that can take years to show their true colors. Certain signs of Histoplasmosis, Blastomycosis or Coccidioidomycosis may be well-concealed and present similarly to a cold so you may not even be aware of what could be lurking in your body. 

Even if you are unable to identify the origins of your illness, you need to be proactive in your treatment because any delays can make your problem much worse. Diseases like the fungi I have mentioned above or a disease like tuberculosis are all capable of moving around your body quickly and the more dispersed the disease is, the more difficult it can be to find an effective treatment. [3]

The last bit of advice that may perhaps be the most difficult to follow is that you need to be patient and understanding during this process. There are several possible origins to the disease and doctors may put you through a cascade of imaging studies. You may be subjected to numerous CT scans, X-rays and even may have lung bronchoscopies and biopsies performed. There is a good chance that you will feel miserable and frustrated by all the efforts without substantial progress in your diagnosis after several weeks or even months have elapsed but many of these pathogens are rare so it could take some time to diagnose what they are. [4]

What Treatment Options are Available to You 

Treating suspicious densities on the lungs depends grossly on what type of pathogen you are diagnosed with.

If you have a bacterial infection like pneumonia, a simple course of antibiotic therapy would be able to alleviate your symptoms.

In most cases, fungal infections can also be treated with a round of antibiotics. If these infections become too aggressive or too disseminated throughout the body, this is the time where doctors will need to utilize antifungal medications as well. The time you will need to take the medications can be frustrating because the treatments often last multiple months but you need to make sure you are compliant with your doctor's recommendations when taking the drug and notify him immediately if you start to notice any strange side effects. Chances are, there are alternative drugs that will have less of an impact on your quality of life so speak up when you need to. [5]

If the suspicious densities on the lungs are more characteristic of lung cancer, the treatment course is much more difficult. Doctors will need to identify what type of lung cancer you are suffering from first before they are able to recommend what type of therapy may be beneficial. If you are found to have large cell carcinomas, surgery will be the best option for you. The surgeons will try to remove as many of the masses as possible and you will receive chemotherapy afterward to help kill the remaining cells. [6]

If you are found to have small cell carcinomas, this is the much more aggressive form of lung cancer and you will need to immediately start radiation therapy in order to try to stop the disease [7]. Even with therapy, lung cancer is a very fatal disease and interventions may only extend the life of a patient for a few additional months. Each patient must decide whether the additional time if worth the troublesome side effects of chemotherapy so it is a subjective choice. Limiting risk factors like cigarette smoking are the best defense against the disease and the discomfort you suffer through fighting through nicotine withdrawal is nothing in comparison to having lung cancer. [8]

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