|TYPES CAUSES SYMPTOMS DIAGNOSIS STAGES TREATMENT|
To find out if lung cancer may be present, the doctor evaluates a person's medical history, smoking history, their exposure to environmental and occupational substances, and family history of cancer. The doctor will also give the patient a physical examination. This is for detecting any signs of cancer such as swollen lymph nodes in the neck or collarbone area. If lung cancer is suspected, a patient must undergo a series of diagnostic tests.
In some people lung cancer doesn't show any symptoms. In such people a method called screening is used to detect the cancer. The two main test used for this are chest x-rays and sputum cytology
Not all abnormalities are cancers. Some people develop scarring and calcium deposition in their lungs that may look like tumors on a chest x-ray film. In such cases, to confirm the diagnosis various scanning are prescribed by the specialist.
CT (Computed tomography) or CAT scan : It is a special kind of x-ray which reveal much more than chest x-ray. A CT scan takes a series of x-rays that build up a three-dimensional picture of the inside of the body. It gives a detailed information about the size, shape, and place of a tumor. CT scan helps to determine whether the cancer is in the chest wall and rib area. It also helps to find the enlarged lymph nodes that might contain cancer and the tumors in other organs that might be affected by the spreading of lung cancer.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan :MRI use radio waves and strong magnets to create an image. This scanning is useful in finding lung cancer, that has spread the brain or spinal cord.
PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scan : PET uses a low-dose radioactive sugar to trace the activity of body cells on sugar. A very small amount of radioactive substance is injected into a vein (usually on hand) and a scan is then taken. Areas of cancer are usually more active than surrounding tissue so they take up more of the radioactive substance and show up on the scan. PET helps to determine whether lung cancer has spread to lymph nodes. It is also helpful in telling whether a spot on your chest x-ray is cancer.
Bone Scans : A bone scan can determine whether the cancer has spread to the bones. It is usually done in patients with small cell lung cancer. A small amount of radioactive substance is injected into a vein and this substance builds up in areas of bone that may be abnormal because of cancer. In patients with non-small cell lung cancer, bone scan is done when other tests or symptoms suggest that the cancer has spread to the bones.
To confirm the presence of lung cancer, the doctor must examine tissue from the lung. This is called biopsy which is the removal of a lung tissue sample for examination under a microscope. Biopsies are obtained in different ways depending on the location of the tumor: They are :
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