To Confirm A Diagnosis, A Lung Cancer Test Is Required — But There Are Many Ways To Get An Answer.
The symptoms of cancer are not strictly limited to the condition, and a misdiagnosis is not uncommon for patients. This can take precious weeks or months at a time when it is imperative to get treatment as quickly as possible, but certain effects of a cancer make it more likely that a doctor will be able to confirm the growth of cancerous cells. A lung cancer test by no means as simple as testing for the flu or for pregnancy, but can be done in a variety of ways depending on a doctor or oncologist’s advice.
The most common symptoms of lung cancer are the effects of the normal respiration within the body. Sudden coughing, fluid buildup, stress or pain on the chest, and dizzyness or fainting spells are normal for lung cancers, yet are also commonplace for a variety of other diseases. As such, a diagnosis of cancer is more common when the patient either lives in a high risk area or has lifestyle choices (most commonly smoking) that would indicate a likelihood of the condition.
Not all doctors agree about the ideal means of testing for cancer. If no symptoms exist that are an indication of a tumor, then few doctors will recommend the x-rays and CT scans, as the growth would likely be so small that it would be nearly invisible. It is more common to test the fluid coughed up by patients; the sputum discharged by violent coughing can carry lung cells with it, which can be analyzed for further problems. If the doctor believes there is reason to be concerned, a biopsy may take place, where a surgeon will extract a small portion of the lungs to study.
The danger in a cancer spreading to other areas of the body necessitates further tests. Further CT scans measure the brain and heart for abnormalities, while a bone scan will give evidence of cancer cells that are being transported through the bloodstream. Further testing, such as emission tomography, will help doctors determine the stage and progression of a cancer.