Diagnosis and Staging Work up
Oncologists use a wide range of diagnostic procedures to confirm the Lung Cancer, which include:
- History and physical examination, and imaging with chest X-ray and CT scan or MRI.
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scanning is a specialized imaging technique that uses short-lived radioactive drugs to produce three-dimensional coloured images of those substances in the tissues within the body, in a growing tumor.
- Bone scans are used to create images of bones on a computer screen or on film.
- Sputum cytology: The diagnosis of lung cancer requires confirmation of malignant cells by a pathologist. The simplest method to establish the diagnosis is the examination of sputum under a microscope.
- Bronchoscopy: Examination of the airways through a probe inserted through the nose or mouth may reveal areas of tumor that can be sampled (biopsied) for diagnosis by a pathologist.
- Needle biopsy: Fine needle aspiration (FNA) through the skin, most commonly performed with radiological imaging for guidance, may be useful in retrieving cells for diagnosis from tumor nodules in the lungs.
- Thoracentesis: Sometimes lung cancers lead to an accumulation of fluid in the space between the lungs and chest wall (called a pleural effusion). Aspiration of a sample of this fluid with a thin needle (thoracentesis) may reveal the cancer cells and establish diagnosis.