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Lung Cancer – Four More Vital Questions That Could Save Your Life

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If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer, you may wish to ask your physician these four additional questions:

1. What diagnostic tests am I to go through besides the MRI that I have taken?

Doctors can run a combination of diagnostic tests to confirm the size, location, malignancy, and spread of the lung tumor. The common diagnostic tests are:
• A run through the medical history records followed by a physical examination
• A chest radiograph (chest X-ray) to reveal the spread, collapse of lung or consolidation of cancerous mass.

• CAT scans (Computerised Axial Tomography) may be performed on the chest, abdomen, and/or brain to examine for both metastatic and lung tumors. This is a high resolution imaging procedure showing organs from different angles to a certain depth.
• Spiral CAT scan to help identify small lung cancers in smokers and former smokers.
• MRI (Magnetic resonance Imaging) is a non-radiation imaging procedure used to see contrasts and minute details that help decide the aging of the cancerous tumors.
• PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scanning. It helps determine whether a tumor tissue is actively growing and determines the type of cells within a tumor.
• Some other tests can be ordered after a confirmatory diagnosis has been made for lung cancer. They are:

o Bone scan helps determine if the lung cancer has metastasized to the bone.
o Sputum cytology shows the presence or absence of the malignant cancer cells in the sputum of the patient.
o Thoracentesis helps removes the pleural fluid from the chest for further testing to detect cancer cells.
o Thoracotomy may be performed to remove lymph nodes and other tissues in question.
o Bronchoscopy is done with a thin fiber optic probe to obtain samples of the tumor for further tests such as biopsy. It is also used to visualize the tumor.
o Fine Needle Aspiration or Needle Biopsy is done in cases where the tumor is located at the peripheries of the lung and not accessible by the bronchoscope.
o Blood tests help detect biochemical and metabolic changes in the body that accompany cancer development.
o Mediastinoscopy is done to remove lymph nodes and other tissues in question.

Add a Comment2 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

This is a helpful article, and timely too with Lung Cancer Awareness Month starting November 1. Lung cancer is among the deadliest types of cancer, yet also one of the least funded. Until we fix that, education and awareness will continue to be critical.
- JD, http://www.mesorc.com

October 20, 2010 - 11:40am
(reply to Anonymous)

Thanks for the kind words. The more we are aware..the more are our chances fighting it better and with greater chances of survival:)

October 20, 2010 - 10:32pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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