DIAGNOSING LUNG CANCER

Lung cancer is the most common type of cancer and cancer cause of death in the world. Approximately 1.8M new cases are diagnosed, and 1.6M lives are lost to lung cancer every year. Although early detection of lung cancer enhances the patient survival rate, only 15% of patients are diagnosed at an early stage1.

Early Lung Cancer Diagnosis Can Save Lives.

The following list includes ways your doctors may use to help diagnose lung cancer

  • History and physical examination: May reveal symptoms or signs that are suspicious for lung cancer.
  • Chest X-ray: Most common first diagnostic step.
  • CT (computerized tomography, computerized axial tomography, or CAT) scans:  A three dimensional x-ray that may be performed on the chest, abdomen, and/or brain to examine for both lung and metastatic tumors.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): An imaging technique that may be appropriate when precise detail about a tumor’s location is required.
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanning:  A specialized imaging technique that uses short-lived radioactive drugs to produce 3D images of those substances in the tissues.
  • Bronchoscopy:  Visualization of the airways through a thin scope that is inserted through the nose or mouth.
  • Transthoracic Needle Aspiration – TTNA:  A technique used to take a sample of a lung tumor where a thin needle is inserted through chest wall.  Most commonly performed using CT imaging for guidance.
  • Transbronchial Needle Aspiration – TBNA:  A technique used to take a sample of a lung tumor where a needle or biopsy device is fed through a bronchoscope.
  • Bronchoscopic Transparenchymal Nodule Access – BTPNA: A technique where a sheath is inserted through a bronchoscope to create a tunnel from the airway wall to the peripheral tumor in the lung tissue. Under fluoroscopic guidance, biopsy needle or forceps are inserted through the ‘tunnel’ to obtain a tissue sample.
  1. American Lung Association: Trends in Lung Cancer Morbidity and Mortality, September 2016
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