Tests and Diagnosis: How is Lung Cancer Diagnosed?

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How is lung cancer diagnosed? Well, since the symptom of lung cancer can be so subtle, it is better if you do the medical check-up so you would know what is wrong with your body. As the time goes, there are several organizations that recommend the people who tend to develop the lung cancer or with the increased risk of the lung cancer to consider the CT scan. CT scan can help you to look your lung cancer and it can also see the cancer in the lung. If you are a smoker and 55 year-old or older, it is better to talk to the doctor in order to get the risks of lung cancer.

Some researches show that screening of lung cancer would help the patient to identify the cancer cells earlier. But the other studies show that the screening will only reveal the benign condition. It is going to need more testing which could lead to unnecessary worry and risks too.

How is lung cancer diagnosed – tests to diagnose lung cancer

If you experience some suspect symptoms lately, you better talk to your doctor. The doctor will runs some tests in order to look to the cancer cells. The medical check-up is needed due to describe the exact condition of your body. And to diagnose the lung cancer, there will be several recommended steps such as:

  • Imaging test is the first step you can take. This test will show the X-ray picture of the lungs and by that you can see if there is nodule or abnormal mass.
  • Sputum cytology will be recommended if the cough produces sputum. By looking the sputum right under the microscope, the cancer cells can be identified.
  • Tissue sample or biopsy will be done if your condition is pretty worrying. The doctor will take the sample of the abnormal cell.

Biopsy procedure can be done in various ways such as bronchoscopy (through the throat), mediastinoscopy (through the neck and breastbone), and also needle biopsy (through the chest wall).

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How is lung cancer diagnosed – stages of lung cancer

  • Stage I: The cancer is limited to the lung only. It also has not spread to lymph node yet. The tumor size is commonly less than 5 cm across.
  • Stage II: The tumor may have been growing bigger than the previous stage. It could also smaller but it involves nearby structures. The lymph nodes could have affected too.
  • Stage III: The tumor could be bigger and it invades any organs nearby to the lungs. Or the smaller tumor in lymph nodes is already accompanied by cancer cells.
  • Stage IV: The cancer has already spread to the affected lungs and beyond. The other organs might be affected even the distant body part.

Even the small cell lung cancer could be described as being extensive or limited. Extensive means cancer has spread to one lung and beyond. Limited means the cancer is affecting one lung. And this is the last article part of “how is lung cancer diagnosed”.

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