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What is the purpose of a screening test for lung cancer?

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If you're a smoker or have other risks for lung cancer, you may want to get a screening test that can help your doctor find the disease before you notice any symptoms. The heads up would let you start treatment early, when the condition is easier to fight.

If your screening shows you may have lung cancer, your doctor will likely order up diagnostic tests. Those can pinpoint the type of the disease and whether it's spread to other places in the body.

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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Who should get screened for lung cancer?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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