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July 1961

The Solitary Pulmonary Lesion: What Is It? What Is the Treatment?

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Thoracic Surgery Service, University Hospitals.

Arch Surg. 1961;83(1):81-92. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300130085010

The ever-increasing education of both the general public and the medical profession concerning the need for periodic complete physical examination, plus the greater use of routine, preemployment and mass survey chest x-ray studies in the search for tuberculosis and lung cancer continues to uncover more people with pulmonary pathology. Such individuals may have no symptoms, unrelated complaints, mild symptoms, or far-advanced disease. In general, the latter group present considerably less difficulty than the others. It is safe to state that the patient with little or no symptomatology and an abnormal x-ray, particularly a solitary pulmonary lesion, may present a most difficult problem in management for several reasons. In spite of adequate medical advice concerning the danger of malignancy, it may be ignored because of general good health and little subjective difficulty, or the patient may be advised to undergo a period of watchful waiting without further study. The basic problem