Stages of Small-Cell Lung Cancer
Tests and procedures that examine the lungs are used to detect (find) and diagnose small cell lung cancer.
The following tests and procedures may be used:
- Chest x-ray: An x-ray of the organs and bones
inside the chest. An x-ray is a type of energy beam that can go through the
body and onto film, making a picture of areas inside the body.
X-ray of the chest. X-rays are used to
take pictures of organs and bones of the chest. X-rays pass through the patient
- Physical exam and history: An exam of the body
to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such
as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient’s health
habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
- Sputum cytology: A microscope is used to check
for cancer cells in the sputum (mucus coughed up from the lungs).
- Laboratory tests: Medical procedures that test
samples of tissue, blood, urine, or other substances in the body. These tests
help to diagnose disease, plan and check treatment, or monitor the disease over
- Bronchoscopy: A procedure to look inside the
trachea and large airways in the lung for abnormal areas. A bronchoscope (a
thin, lighted tube) is inserted through the nose or mouth into the trachea and
lungs. Tissue samples may be taken for biopsy.
- Bronchoscopy. A bronchoscope is inserted through
the mouth, trachea, and major bronchi into the lung, to look for abnormal
areas. A bronchoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens
for viewing. It may also have a cutting tool. Tissue samples may be taken to be
checked under a microscope for signs of disease.
- Fine needle aspiration biopsy: The removal of part of a lump, suspicious
tissue, or fluid, using a thin needle. A pathologist views the tissue or fluid
under a microscope to look for cancer cells. This procedure is also called a
- Thoracentesis: Removal of fluid from the pleural
cavity (the space between the lungs and chest wall) through a needle inserted
between the ribs.