Upon hearing about the symptoms, a health care provider, whether a primary care provider or emergency department clinician, will formulate a list of possible diagnoses. He or she will ask questions about the symptoms; medical and surgical history; smoking and work history; and other questions about lifestyle, overall health, and the medications taken.
Unless severe hemoptysis is occurring, a chest x-ray will most likely be performed first to look for a cause of the respiratory symptoms.
The x-ray film may or may not show an abnormality.
Malignant non-small cell epithelial tumors of the lung are classified by the World Health Organization (WHO)/International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC). There are three main subtypes of NSCLC, including the following:
Squamous cell carcinoma (25% of lung cancers).
Adenocarcinoma (40% of lung cancers).
Large cell carcinoma (10% of lung cancers).
There are numerous additional subtypes of decreasing frequency.
WHO/IASLC Histologic Classification of NSCLC