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Printed for you from the St. Mary's of Michigan website on 09/15/14
Diagnosis
 
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Diagnosis
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1015 S. Washington Avenue
Saginaw, MI 48601
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Diagnosis

In addition to a complete medical history to check for risk factors and symptoms, and a physical examination to provide other information about signs of lung cancer and other health problems, procedures used to diagnose lung cancer (or to help determine if it has spread) may include:

Laboratory tests. Medical tests of tissue, blood, urine or other substances in the body may be performed. These tests help diagnose disease, plan and check treatment, or monitor the disease over time.

Chest X-ray. This procedure looks for any mass or spot on the lungs.

Computed tomography scan (also called a CT or CAT scan). A diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal, or axial, images (often called slices) of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs such as the lungs. CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays.

Sputum cytology. A pathologist will view a sample of sputum or phlegm (mucus coughed up from the lungs) under a microscope to check for cancer cells.

Thoracentesis. A hollow needle is inserted through the skin in the chest wall to remove fluid, which is then sent to the lab to be checked for cancer cells.
Needle biopsy. A thin, hollow needle is guided into the mass while the lungs are being viewed on a fluoroscopy or CT scan, and a sample of the mass is removed and evaluated in the pathology laboratory under a microscope.

Bronchoscopy. The examination of the bronchi (the main airways of the lungs) using a flexible tube (bronchoscope) passed down the mouth or nose. Bronchoscopy helps to evaluate and diagnose lung problems, assess blockages, obtain samples of tissue and/or fluid, and/or to help remove a foreign body.

Endobronchial ultrasound. An exam in which a bronchoscope with a small ultrasound transducer on its tip is passed down the windpipe to look at lymph nodes in the mediastinum (the space between the lungs). If enlarged lymph nodes are seen, a small needle can be passed down the bronchoscope and through the wall of the airway to get samples of the nodes for testing.

Mediastinoscopy. A process in which a small cut is made in the neck so that a tissue sample can be taken from the lymph nodes (mediastinal nodes) along the windpipe and the major bronchial tube areas to evaluate under a microscope.

Thoracoscopy. A procedure in which a small cut is made in the side of the chest wall through which a small tube with a video camera on the end is inserted. This allows the doctor to look at the outer part of the lungs and chest wall and to sample any abnormal areas for viewing under a microscope.

MRI, PET, or bone scans. These procedures are done to determine if the cancer has spread from where it started into other areas of the body.

Other tests and procedures may be used as well.
      800 South Washington Avenue | Saginaw, MI 48601-2524 | (989)907-8000 | 1-844-907-8000
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