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How does a screening test for lung cancer work?

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If you decide to get a screening test, you'll likely get something called low-dose computed tomography (LDCT). It's a machine that uses X-rays to make detailed pictures of your lungs.

It's a super-easy exam to take. You don't need any special prep, like fasting. You just need to hold your breath for about 6 seconds while a technician takes a scan. The whole thing takes about 10 minutes.

One thing to keep in mind: Sometimes an LCDT can give a result that looks like cancer, but really isn't. Doctors call this situation a false-positive. You may need to take some other tests to double-check.

From: Lung Cancer Screening and Tests WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Exams and tests that look for lung cancer." "Tests for small cell lung cancer."

American Society of Clinical Oncology: "Lung Cancer - Non-Small Cell: Diagnosis."

CDC: "Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines and Recommendations." "What are the Risk Factors for Lung Cancer?" "What Screening Tests are There?"

National Comprehensive Cancer Network: "Lung Cancer Screening."

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence: "Lung cancer: diagnosis and management."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Screening for Lung Cancer: Consumer Guide."

University of Kansas Cancer Center: "Frequently Asked Questions About Lung Cancer Screening with Low-Dose CT."

UptoDate: "Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration in the mediastinum."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on July 11, 2018

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Exams and tests that look for lung cancer." "Tests for small cell lung cancer."

American Society of Clinical Oncology: "Lung Cancer - Non-Small Cell: Diagnosis."

CDC: "Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines and Recommendations." "What are the Risk Factors for Lung Cancer?" "What Screening Tests are There?"

National Comprehensive Cancer Network: "Lung Cancer Screening."

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence: "Lung cancer: diagnosis and management."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Screening for Lung Cancer: Consumer Guide."

University of Kansas Cancer Center: "Frequently Asked Questions About Lung Cancer Screening with Low-Dose CT."

UptoDate: "Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration in the mediastinum."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on July 11, 2018

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