Diagnosis of lung cancer generally starts with a thorough physical exam and detailed medical history. One or more diagnostic tests may then be ordered. Captain Miller, what can you tell us about diagnosing lung cancer?
Well, Dr. Flemings, during the physical examination, the provider checks general signs of health, as well as signs of disease, such as lumps or anything that seems unusual. A medical history may include questions about the patient's health habits, including smoking, and past jobs, illnesses, and treatments.
There are several diagnostic tests that can help confirm or rule out a diagnosis of lung cancer.
Imaging tests, such as chest x-rays and computed tomography, or CT, scans, can help providers visualize the lungs and surrounding tissues. A positron emission tomography, or PET, scan is another imaging test that can reveal cancerous cells.
A biopsy is a procedure involving the removal of cells or tissue so they can be viewed under a microscope to check for signs of cancer. There are several different ways a biopsy can be done.
Laboratory tests may be ordered to test samples of tissue, blood, urine, or other substances in the body.