What You Really Need to Know about Cancer

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Lung Cancer Diagnosis – Investigations Carried out to Confirm Lung Cancer

If you feel you have any signs and symptoms of the lung cancer it is always wise to seek medical opinion from a doctor. Doctors do various investigations to conclude whether the patient is having lung cancer or not.. The following are the investigations for lung cancer


Physical Examination and History
thorough patient history may reveal the symptoms of cancer, asking about risk factors of lung cancer like smoking, how long patient has been smoking, asking about the working environment, like people who work in  the fiber glass industry with inappropriate safety measures, and other chemical industries have the risk of getting lung cancer.
Physical examination reveals whether the patient has any signs of lung cancer or any chronic respiratory diseases which may be as a consequence of lung cancer.

Chest X-ray for lung cancer diagnosis 
Chest x ray is the first investigation that needs to be carried out to identify whether there is a calcified nodules in the lungs or benign tumors called hamartomas in the lung. Even if the doctor finds a calcified nodule in the lung, but still it’s not possible to conclude whether that is a cancer benign or malignant tumor. So, patient needs to undergo further investigations.
Image of lung cancer

Needle Biopsy for lung cancer diagnosis
Needle biopsy is a procedure carried out to take a cell sample from the affected area or from the lung tumor for cell cytology (cell studied under microscope). Needle biopsy is done when it’s not possible to carry out bronchoscopy. During this procedure a risk of pneumothorax is involved.

Thoracentesis for lung cancer diagnosis
When the lung cancer develops in the lining tissues of the pleura, certainly there is a pleural effusion (accumulation of fluid between lung and the chest wall). A cell sample is aspirated from this region with a thin needle and is studied under microscope. This study reveals whether the cells are normal or malignant.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging for lung cancer diagnosis 

The image and structure produced by MRI is very clear and precise to identify any abnormal anatomical changes in the tissues. MRI is done when the doctor finds the exact location of the tumor. There are no known side effects of this procedure compare to other investigations

Bronchoscopy for lung cancer diagnosis

image of lung tumor
This procedure reveals the location of the tumor and aid in sampling for biopsy. This procedure is performed using a bronchoscope and usually its performed by a surgeon or a pulmonologist. After this procedure patient may have side effects like cough up dark-brown blood for 1 to 2 days, decreased oxygen in the blood.

Computerized Tomography (CT) for lung cancer diagnosis

A CT scan is done when a doctor cannot find a sufficient about the location and size of the tumor or growth in the lung. CT scan is more sensitive in detecting lung nodule than chest X- ray.

Positron Emission Tomography for lung cancer diagnosis

Advanced and specialized imaging techniques used to take three dimensional colored images of lung. This investigation identifies the metabolic activities and functions of the lung tissues. It determines whether the tumor is growing rapidly and also determines the types of cancer and stages

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