Lung Cancer Diagnosis and Tests – As the name suggests, lung cancer is a condition when cancer cells form in the lungs. This cancer is widely experienced by those who have a habit of smo**king.
However, lung cancer can also occur in people who are not smo**kers. Especially in people who are often exposed to cigarette smoke from other people or chemicals in their work environment. The more early is known, the success of treatment is higher.
Unfortunately, lung cancer often does not cause symptoms in the early stages. New symptoms arise when the tumor is large enough or the cancer has spread to the tissues and organs around. A number of symptoms that can be felt by people with lung cancer are
- A chronic cough.
- Coughing up blood.
- Drastic weight loss.
- Chest and bone pain.
- Shortness of breath.
Lung Cancer Diagnosis
Medical History and Physical Examination
If the patient comes with the suspected symptoms of lung cancer, then the doctor will conduct a physical examination of the patient, especially in the respiratory tract, by listening to the voice of the breath using the stethoscope.
Routine physical examination shows swelling of the lymph nodes above the collarbone, mass in the abdomen, inadequate breathing, abnormal noise in the lungs, dim sound when the chest is tapped, pupil abnormalities, weakness or swelling of the blood vessels in one arm, or even changes in the nail, the doctor can suspect a lung tumor.
Some lung cancer generates certain levels of hormones or substances in the blood that are abnormal that can lead to abnormal high calcium levels in the bloodstream. If someone shows such evidence and no other obvious cause, a physician should consider the lung cancer diagnosis.
If lung cancer has been confirmed, some advanced analyses will also be conducted to determine the type of cancer and its spread.
Furthermore, the doctor will also do any additional examinations, namely:
Photo of the chest X-ray
Photo of the chest X-ray, to see the location of abnormalities and tumor conditions in the lungs.
CT scans or MRI
CT scans or MRI, to find out the size and layout of the tumor in more detail, as well as see other tissue conditions around the lung organs.
Lung tissue biopsy is a sampling of lung tissue to detect the type of cancer occurring.
Biopsies can also use enlarged tissue samples of lymph nodes. The biopsy will be performed by a lung doctor with endoscopic assistance, a small, camera-like hose, which is inserted into the respiratory tract. This procedure is called a bronchoscopy. In addition, biopsy can also be done with a fine needle that is inserted through the chest wall.
Through the results of the test above, plus a PET scan examination when necessary, the doctor can know the type and stage of lung cancer. By knowing the type and stage of cancer, the lung doctor can determine the right treatment step for the sufferer.
In addition to examining the existence of cancer, doctors will also conduct a screening to determine the possible causes and other diseases that accompany lung cancer, such as:
Similar to a biopsy, the doctor will take a sample of phlegm (the mucus produced cough from the lungs) and then be examined in the laboratory to detect cancer cells. The best way to do this test is to take a sample in the morning for 3 consecutive days.
This test is more likely to help find cancer that starts in the main airways of the lung, such as squamous cell lung cancer. If the doctor suspects lung cancer, a further examination may be performed even if no cancer cells are found in phlegm.
3 Other tests:
- Blood tests, to detect infections.
- Spirometry, to assess lung organ function.
- Pleural functions, i.e. Suction fluid in the chamber between the lung membranes.
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