November 23, 2021

Are there tests for early detection?


The symptoms of lung cancer usually do not appear until the disease is fairly advanced and in a non-curable stage. The early symptoms of lung cancer (persistent cough, chest pain and shortness of breath) are similar to other lung problems such as an infection or long-term effects of smoking and are not taken notice of. This often delays the diagnosis.

Recommended tests/ Early detection for Lung Cancer

Screening means use of tests to detect a disease in patients who do not have symptoms of the disease. For lung cancer, three tests have been studied for use as screening tests:

1. Chest X-ray: It is an X-ray of the organs and bones inside the chest.
2. Sputum cytology: This is a procedure where a sample of sputum (mucus coughed up from lungs) is viewed under a microscope by a pathologist to look for cancer cells.
3. Low-dose spiral/ helical CT scan: This involves a CT scan with low-dose radiation to make a series of detailed pictures of the organs inside the body.

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