The Diagnosis and Treatment of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer begins in the lungs and can spread to the lymph nodes or the other parts of the body. Cancer from the other organs in the body may also spread to the lungs. The two main types of lung cancer include squamous (small cell) and adenocarcinoma (non-small cell) (Adenocarcinoma) lung cancer. The non-small scale lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer. These two types of lung cancer grow differently and are therefore treated each differently.

Patients who are at high risk of lung cancer should get screened annually using small dose CT scans. Screening for lung cancer is recommended for people at age 55 or older who had smoked heavily for a long time. Your doctor will recommend the best screening method for you.

Here are some of the tests performed to diagnose lung cancer:

  • Imaging tests – An X-ray will be conducted to reveal abnormal nodules in your lungs. A CT scan will also be performed to reveal small lesions in your lungs that cannot be detected using an X-ray.
  • Sputum cytology – When you have a persistent cough, it produces sputum and the sputum can be tested under a microscope to reveal the presence of the lung cancer cells.
  • Biopsy – Is when a sample of the abnormal cells are removed through bronchoscopy and mediastinoscopy where tissue samples are taken from the lungs for testing for lung cancer.

If you are diagnosed with lung cancer, you’ll undergo more tests to determine how far the cancer has spread through the lymph nodes, lungs and the rest of the body in a process called staging. The tests include CT scans, MRIs, PET and bone scans. The stage and type of lung cancer helps the doctors to plan for a suitable treatment option. Your doctor will assist in choosing a cancer treatment plan based on your overall health, your preferences and the type and stage of your lung cancer.

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