What Is Done for Lung Cancer Screening?

Reviewed on 7/28/2021

Screening tests for lung cancer include a low-dose CAT scan or CT scan (LDCT), which are recommended for people who are 55 to 74 years old, are in fairly good health, are current smokers or who have quit in the past 15 years, and have smoked a certain number of cigarettes per day should receive regular lung cancer screenings.
Screening tests for lung cancer include a low-dose CAT scan or CT scan (LDCT), which are recommended for people who are 55 to 74 years old, are in fairly good health, are current smokers or who have quit in the past 15 years, and have smoked a certain number of cigarettes per day should receive regular lung cancer screenings. 

Lung cancer is a type of cancer that occurs when lung cells become abnormal and grow out of control. Smoking is the main cause of all types of lung cancer, and is responsible for 80% of all lung cancer deaths as well as a number of deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke

Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines

Because symptoms of lung cancer often do not appear until the cancer is advanced, The American Cancer Society has lung cancer screening guidelines for people with a higher risk of getting lung cancer, such as smokers. 

A test called a low-dose CAT scan or CT scan (LDCT) is typically used to screen for lung cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends people who are 55 to 74 years old, are in fairly good health, are current smokers or who have quit in the past 15 years, and have smoked a certain number of cigarettes per day should receive regular lung cancer screenings. 

Imaging Tests for Lung Cancer

If lung cancer is suspected, imaging tests may be used to confirm a diagnosis, including:

Lab Tests for Lung Cancer

Lab tests used to diagnose lung cancer include:

  • Blood tests
  • Lung function tests
  • Tests for certain proteins on tumor cells
  • Sputum cytology 
  • Tissue biopsy 
  • Thoracentesis 
  • Bronchoscopy masses
  • Endobronchial ultrasound 
  • Endoscopic esophageal ultrasound
  • Mediastinoscopy and mediastinotomy
  • Thoracoscopy
  • Molecular tests for gene changes 

What Are Symptoms of Lung Cancer?

First Signs & Symptoms

Lung cancer may not have symptoms early on. When the first signs and symptoms do occur, they may include:

  • Chronic or worsening cough
  • Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum
  • Chest pain that may be worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
  • Wheezing
  • Hoarseness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breathing problems
  • Fatigue/tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that don’t go away or recur

Symptoms of Lung Cancer Spreading

If lung cancer spreads (metastasizes) to other parts of the body, symptoms may include:

QUESTION

Lung cancer is a disease in which lung cells grow abnormally in an uncontrolled way. See Answer

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Reviewed on 7/28/2021
References
https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer.html