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Lung Cancer Health Center

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Lung Cancer Tests

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Exams and Tests continued...

Other Tests

Other tests are performed to stage the tumor and to assess a person's ability to withstand surgery and other treatment.

  • Pulmonary function tests assess breathing capacity.
  • Blood tests are performed to identify any chemical imbalances, blood disorders, or other problems that might complicate treatment.
  • CT scans or MRIs may be performed on the most common areas of spread to check for metastatic disease. These tests are generally performed if symptoms occur that suggest metastatic disease. Certain treatment protocols require that these tests be performed.
  • A bone scan can determine whether the cancer has spread to the bones.


Staging is a method of classifying the tumor for purposes of treatment planning. It's based on the size of the tumor, location of the tumor, and degree of metastasis (spread) of the tumor (if any). The treatment will be individually tailored to the tumor stage. Tumor stage helps determine the outlook for cure and survival (prognosis). The higher the tumor stage, the less likely the disease will be cured.

WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on June 04, 2014
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