3 Tests For Detecting Lung Cancer

Posted on: 16 June 2016


Detecting lung cancer early saves lives. Around 158,000 people die from lung cancer each year. When the disease is caught early, it has a better response tolung cancer treatments.

A doctor has to conduct a number of tests to determine if a patient has this disease. These tests may include: X-rays, a biopsy or a sputum cytology. Here are three tests for detecting lung cancer.

Detection Using X-rays

In the early stages, many people do not show signs of lung cancer. Initial symptoms are constant coughing, coughing up blood, chest pain, shortness of breath and feeling fatigue. Many patients are diagnosed during a chest x-ray for another reason. However, an X-ray is one of the first tests used for diagnosing this disease.

This test shows abnormal areas in your lungs. If the test is abnormal, then your doctor will perform more tests.

Detection By Biopsy

A biopsy gives your doctor a definitive answer on if a patient has cancer. This procedure takes a small piece of your lung tissue, which is evaluated under a microscope. There are four ways to do a biopsy, which are bronchoscopic, needle, open and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). The method chosen depends on the location of the abnormal mass and your overall health. A biopsy is usually done when other tests are unable to identify the cause your lung problems.

Detection Using Sputum Cytology

Sputum cytology is done when lung cancer is suspected and to detect noncancerous lung conditions. Sputum is different from saliva. It is produced in your airways and your lungs.

To perform this test, your doctor has to collect a sample. This sample is collected from mucus, by doing a bronchoscopy or by breathing in a saltwater mist and coughing. A bronchoscopy procedure uses a bronchoscope to look at your airway and throat. The sample of sputum collected is examined under a microscope. It is checked for abnormal cells.

Lung cancer can be hard to detect because you have to be looking for the disease. If you are considered high risk, then you should get screen annually. It is recommended that people between the ages of 55 to 80 with a 30-year smoking history get screened.

Diagnosis plays a very important role in treating lung cancer. It directs the type of treatment you choose to cure your illness. Before you can treat the disease, you have to be diagnosed. For the best outcome, it is essential that you catch cancer in the early stages.