Lung Cancer Diagnosis
When doctors suspect that someone has lung cancer, they usually ask the person to take a chest radiograph. This is a special kind of x-ray that uses radiation to create pictures of the inside of the chest. That is not the only test the person will have to take because there are other medical conditions that look like lung cancer on a radiograph, and the doctor has to be sure before a diagnosis is made. Another reason additional tests are necessary is if the person has a risk factor for lung cancer, like being exposed to asbestos.
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The doctor chooses additional tests based on where in the lung the tumor is located
In order to be sure whether or not the person has lung cancer, the doctor must order more tests. Choosing which follow up tests to have the person take will depend on what part of the lung the tumor is located.
If the tumor is located in the center of the lung, the doctor may ask for a:
- A sample of the person’s sputum – Sputum is the matter that is coughed up from the lungs. It usually contains saliva and mucus. The sample is looked at under a microscope to see if it has abnormal cells.
- Bronchoscopy – In this procedure, an endoscope, which is a tiny device with a light on the end of it, is placed into the airways. It lets the doctor look at the tubes that connect the lungs with the windpipe. It also can be used to get tissue samples from these tubes and from the main part of the lungs so the samples can be biopsied.
- A biopsy of tissue samples taken through the chest wall – If the results from the bronchoscopy aren’t clear about whether or not there is lung cancer, the person will be asked to undergo a procedure in which a fine needle is placed through the chest wall to remove a larger sample of tissue to be biopsied.
If the tumor is located on the outer part of the lung, the doctor may ask for a:
- A biopsy of tissue samples taken through the chest wall using a CT- scan to guide the biopsy needle.
- Thoracoscopy – This is similar to a bronchoscopy because an endoscope is placed in the airways and tissue samples can be removed. The difference between the two procedures is that thorcoscopy gives the doctor a much wider view, so it is more accurate.
- Thoracotomy – The person has surgery to open their chest so that the doctor can get a complete view of the inside.
Contact an Asbestos Exposure Lawyer
If you or someone you love has developed lung cancer because you were exposed to asbestos, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit to collect compensation. Our serious injury attorneys are experienced in asbestos exposure litigation in Florida, and can help get injured workers and their families the compensation they deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation with a Florida mesothelioma lawyer.
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