- The most important examination at the early stage is plain chest x-ray.
- Other tests include the endoscopic studies
- CT scan of the chest
- MRI of the chest
- Tissue biopsy ( done during the endoscopy)
- Flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy
- A transbronchial needle aspiration: done via a special needle passed through the bronchoscope. This technique can be used to sample out mediastinal masses or paratracheal lymph nodes
- Transthoracic fine-needle aspiration biopsy with fluoroscopic or CT scan guidance
- Pleural biopsy in patients with pleural effusion
- Thoracentesis of pleural effusion and cytologic evaluation of the obtained fluid
Read lung cancer first.
The early symptoms of lung cancer and their prevalence include:
- Cough or altered cough in 60% of patients.
- Coughing blood( Haemoptysis) in 27% of cases
- Chest pain in 34%.
- Difficulty in breathing (Dyspnea) in 46% of cases.
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss 56%.
On examination of the patients
This is primary lung malignancy that arises from the lung tissue. There are several types of primary cancer of the lung including squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, small cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma. Here are some of the listed types
Adenocarcinomas: These types of cancers are common in North America and Japan. They tend to occur among smokers, although nonsmokers are more likely to develop adenocarcinoma than other lung cancer types. On radiological examination, they are found more peripherally, but can occur almost anywhere, and can be multifocal. They have been known to fill the entire lobe of the lung tissue. Other x-ray findings show that they are associated with solid opacities, ground-glass opacities, or mixed patterns. Epidemiologically, Adenocarcinomas represent 35%-40% of lung carcinomas. The variants of adenocarcinomas include types such as signet ring, clear cell, mucinous, and fetal adenocarcinomas
Squamous cell (Epidermoid): This type of cancer tends to occur centrally and is highly associated a history of smoking. It’s a malignancy that shows squamous differentiation 20% to 30% of lung cancers. It spreads by locally invading the surrounding tissues and forms cavities in the lungs. The differential diagnosis includes reactive processes that may result in squamous metaplasia with reactive atypia as seen during infections or radiation-induced injury