Testing for Lung Cancer

  • Your doctor will study your body for signs of disease. He or she will touch parts of your body to see if anything feels abnormal.
  • A medical history is a report of all health events in your lifetime.
  • Blood tests are used to look for signs of cancer.
  • Diagnostic CT may show if cancer has spread in your body. PET/CT may detect cancer that CT did not.
  • MRI can be used to see if cancer has spread to your brain. MRI of the spine and thoracic inlet is needed if you have a superior sulcus tumor.
  • A bronchoscopy is a procedure that assesses your airways. It is done for many stage I, II, and III lung cancers.
  • A biopsy is needed to confirm that cancer is present. It is often used to help stage the cancer.
  • Pulmonary function tests are needed if surgery or radiation therapy is a treatment option.
  • Supportive care aims to improve your quality of life. It is important for everyone, not just people at the end of life.