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How is lung cancer diagnosed?

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Though tests of mucus or lung fluid may reveal cancer cells, diagnosis is usually confirmed through a biopsy.

Using bronchoscopy, the doctor guides a thin, lighted tube through the nose or mouth and down the air passages to a tumor, where a tiny tissue sample can be taken out. Another procedure uses a CT scan to guide a needle to take a biopsy.

Other tests will determine the type of cancer and how far it has spread. Nearby lymph nodes can be tested, using a procedure called a mediastinoscopy. A small cut is made in the front of the neck to pass a hollow, lighted tube into the chest to take biopsies.

Imaging techniques like CT, MRI, PET, and bone scans can detect cancer that may have spread.

SOURCES: 

National Cancer Institute. 

National Institutes of Health. 

WebMD Medical Reference from the American College of Physicians: “Section 12 VIII Lung Cancer.”

News release, FDA.

American Cancer Society.

American Lung Association. 

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on February 05, 2019

SOURCES: 

National Cancer Institute. 

National Institutes of Health. 

WebMD Medical Reference from the American College of Physicians: “Section 12 VIII Lung Cancer.”

News release, FDA.

American Cancer Society.

American Lung Association. 

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on February 05, 2019

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How are tests used to diagnose lung cancer?

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