Lung Cancer Screening
Early diagnosis of lung cancer leads to faster treatment and improved results.
Your doctor will ask about your medical history, including smoking, exposure to certain substances and family history of cancer. A variety of imaging and screening tests are used to diagnose cancer, such as:
- Chest X-ray – An X-ray to check for abnormal areas on the lungs
- CT scan – A series of X-rays merged to create images of the lung. A special spiral or helical CT scan may identify smaller tumors than a regular X-ray
- Sputum cytology – Examination of a sample of mucus from the lungs
- Biopsy – Removal of a sample of lung tissue to be tested for cancer cells. Methods of lung biopsy include bronchoscopy, needle aspiration and thoracentesis
- Pulmonary function tests – A series of tests done to see how well your lungs work, providing information about what kind of treatments may be appropriate for you.
Advanced lung screening
Cape Cod Healthcare also has the latest in technology to reach a diagnosis through a minimally invasive procedure – Navigational Bronchoscopy.
The SPiNView® Thoracic Navigation System allows physicians to precisely locate biopsy or even remove small lung lesions without invasive surgery or a needle biopsy. The bronchoscope uses a flexible tube to access any part of the lung without the need for surgery in a process that takes about 30-45 minutes to complete while the patient is under sedation.
The navigational bronchoscopy system uses a patient’s CT scan to produce a 3D roadmap the surgeon can follow to reach and remove suspicious tissue. This precision allows the surgeon to preserve more healthy tissue and because the procedure is minimally invasive, side effects are reduced and recovery time increased.
Lung cancer symptoms
Symptoms result from damage to the lung or other structures near the lung or surrounding tissues. They include:
- Persistent and worsening cough
- Hoarseness or any change in voice quality
- Coughing up blood
- Shortness of breath
- Frequent pneumonia or bronchitis
- Chest pain
These symptoms may also be caused by other, less serious health conditions. If you experience these symptoms, call your doctor.
Want to stop smoking?
The American Lung Association has tools to help you get started.