There is nothing worse than having an illness that can take one's life. Several people in the world today are living with a disease like lung cancer without knowing it. And this might result in worse complications in a later stage. However, early detection and treatment can help save lives.
Lung cancer is an abnormal growth of lung cells. And it is usually a common disease among older grown-ups with a smoking habit. However, some other factors can cause it.
A study by the American Cancer Society shows that over 23,000 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed every month in the US. Despite the increase in the record of affected persons, early detection and treatment can give people a chance at a healthy life.
Several laboratory tests and imaging are used in the detection of lung cancer. They include PET scans, biopsies, X-rays, and CT scans. You can click on https://bodyvisionmedical.com/products to see some equipment used in detection.
So, if you are experiencing any symptoms of lung cancer, you can talk to your doctor. However, familiarizing yourself with the procedures involved in screening and detection is best. And this article will help put you through.
Detecting Lung Cancer
In detecting and diagnosing lung cancer, doctors carry out several tests. Nevertheless, they will need to understand the patient’s symptoms, learn about their treatment history, and conduct a physical examination. And with this, the doctor can check for certain risk factors and reveal any signs of cancer or underlying health issues.
There are two kinds of tests used in the detection of lung tumors. They include laboratory and imagining examinations.
These tests help show the images of the lungs and chest using advanced medical technology. With these, doctors can better understand the effect of the tumor and the areas it could affect. Also, these tests are better for checking the progress of the treatment and other side effects it might have in the body system.
There are several imaging tests that doctors use in diagnosing lung tumors. Below are a few of them.
These imaging tests help show the lungs using ionization radiation and are usually the first test doctors use in finding infected areas. However, they will usually require carrying out further tests for more details.
This is another imaging test that makes use of X-rays. But, they are more detailed compared to chest radiography. This is because they create an image of the entire chest’s cross-section. Also, they combine all scans and produce better images.
CT scans are very popular due to the extra details they provide. Also, they can help the doctor see the shape, location, and size of the tumor and other areas it might have affected.
The procedure is simple and requires the patient to lie on a scanner table. After that, the radiographer turns on the scanner, which scans the areas around the patient’s chest.
These tests are also used to provide images of the lungs. However, they use powerful magnets and radio waves rather than electromagnetic waves. They can help doctors spot the tumors that have affected the spinal cord or brain.
However, patients with medical body implants like pacemakers, ear implants, or others must inform the radiologist due to the powerful magnetic fields. In addition, claustrophobic patients can discuss with the doctor concerning taking a depressant before the scan.
This procedure involves using fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), a radioactive sugar that gathers in the cancer cells. And it is injected as a radiotracer into the patient’s blood which helps the scan take images of the cancer areas.
Usually, radiographers combine this with CTs to get better image details. Also, they are best in confirming the cases of the tumor in patients.
The procedure for the scan is the same as MRI scans. But, they use radiotracers, usually injected into the patient’s arm vein in preparation for the scan.
This procedure is painless and can take over an hour. However, the patient will need to stay still to prevent altering the movement of the tracers – this can be discomforting.
As much as imaging tests might show the areas of lung cancer, it is best to do a laboratory test. This is necessary for making a conclusive identification. Some tests used include.
This test requires using fluids gathered around the lungs. It is extracted and then tested for tumor cells. You can read this article to know more about thoracentesis.
This test involves taking samples of mucus coughed up around the lungs. And it is best at discovering cancerous cells like squamous cell tumors.
This test is used after revealing a suspected area with an imaging test. The procedure requires taking tissue samples with hollow needles. However, they might not be sufficient to help the doctor diagnose or provide proper anticancer medication. Therefore, further tests are necessary.
Lung cancer can be detected using several test methods. And they include lab tests and imaging tests. However, doctors usually combine both test methods for a more accurate result.
Several factors can lead to lung cancer, and smoking is among them. However, if you feel symptoms or suspect any sign of the tumor, you should visit a doctor for a proper check-up.