Skip to content

    Lung Cancer Health Center

    Select An Article

    Lung Cancer Tests

    Font Size

    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
    1 | 2
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Xray analysis
    Do you know the myths from the facts?
    chest x-ray
    Get to know them.
    woman taking pills
    Tips to managing them.
    Lung cancer xray
    See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
    Lung Cancer Risks Myths and Facts
    Woman getting ct scan
    Improving Lung Cancer Survival Targeted Therapy
    cancer fighting foods
    Lung Cancer Surprising Differences Between Sexes
    Pets Improve Your Health
    Vitamin D
    Lung Cancer Surgery Options