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Diagnosing NSCLC: Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

Diagnosing NSCLC

Diagnosing NSCLC is very essential for proper and lasting treatment solution

Most lung cancer patients are struggling with NSCLC. Although it’s serious problem the world over, treatment can reduce its effects from worsening. There are several things patients can do to feel more comfortable. People who smoke or who breathe a lot of smoke are most likely to get NSCLC. And to diagnose this, the doctor will ask the patient questions like:

  • When did you first notice problems?
  • How have you been feeling?
  • Has anyone in your family had lung cancer before?
  • Does anything make your symptoms better or worse?
  • Are you smoking or you were but quitted?
  • Are you coughing or wheezing?

Besides the questioning, the doctor may want to run some tests and a physical exam. Such tests may include:

Diagnosing NSCLC

: Imaging tests

Imaging tests is essential in finding the tumors inside lungs. They can also show whether the cancer has spread.

  • X-rays use low doses of radiation to make images of structures inside your body.
  • MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, shows blood flow, organs, and structures.
  • Ultrasound creates a picture by bouncing sound waves off tissues inside you.
  • PET scans use a radioactive compound or tracer that collects where your cells are very active.
  • CT scans are powerful X-rays that make detailed pictures of the tissue and the blood vessels in the lung.

Sputum cytology is a lab test that checks the mucus you cough up for cancer cells.

Diagnosing NSCLC: Fine-needle aspiration

A fine needle aspiration biopsy takes cells from an abnormal growth or the fluid in your lungs. Where the doctor wants to examine inside your lungs and chest this is helpful using a thin, flexible tube with a light and tiny camera. He may also take samples of tissue, including from nearby lymph nodes, to check for cancer cells. This can be done in different ways like:

  • Bronchoscopy goes through your nose or mouth and into your lungs.
  • Endobronchial ultrasound uses bronchoscopy with an ultrasound placed at the tip of the tube to look at lymph nodes and other structures.
  • Endoscopic ultrasound is like the endobronchial ultrasound, but your doctor puts the endoscope down your throat into the esophagus.
  • Thoracoscopy uses a few small cuts along your side to look at the outside of your lung and the tissue around it.
  • Mediastinoscopy makes a small cut just above your breastbone, in the space between your lungs.

Based on what your doctor finds, he’ll assign a stage, describing where the cancer is. That will help your medical team figure out the best treatment for you. You’ll want to know what each stage means:

  • Occult stage: “Occult” means “hidden.” Cancer cells are in lung fluid or sputum, but the doctor can’t find where the cancer is in your lungs.
  • Stage 0: Cancer cells are in the lining of your airways.
  • Stage I: A small tumor is in only one lung. The cancer hasn’t spread to lymph nodes.
  • Stage II: A larger tumor is in one lung, or the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
  • Stage III: Cancer in one lung has spread to farther lymph nodes or into nearby structures.
  • Stage IV: Cancer has spread to both lungs, to fluid around the lungs, or to other parts of the body, such as the brain and liver.

Diagnosing NSCLC: Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

 

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