Back to Oncology Diseases
Non-small cell lung cancer
PA and lateral chest x-rays are indicated in a high-risk patient
with new respiratory symptoms. Comparison with previous x-rays is
frequently helpful. Suspicious findings include:
A CT scan of the chest, including the liver and adrenal
glands, is performed routinely to further define the primary tumor
and to identify lymphatic or parenchymal metastases.
Current data suggest that PET may be very helpful for
the evaluation of lung masses, lymph nodes, and distant metastases.
When a lung mass ?lights up? on a PET scan, there is a 90%-95%
chance that it is cancerous. Both the sensitivity and specificity of
PET for detecting nodal metastases are approximately 60% (see
Collecting sputum cytologies for 3 consecutive days
frequently provides a cytologic diagnosis for central lesions
Bronchoscopy establishes a cytologic and/or
histologic diagnosis in 80%-85% of cases. In addition,
bronchoscopy may provide important staging information.
Resection is generally recommended for any
suspicious peripheral mass.
CT-guided needle biopsy may diagnose up to 90% of
peripheral lung cancers but is usually reserved for patients who
are not candidates for an operation due to distant metastatic
disease or poor performance status.
Are you a doctor or a nurse?
Do you want to join the Doctors Lounge online medical community?
Participate in editorial activities (publish, peer review, edit) and
give a helping hand to the largest online community of patients.
Click on the link below to see the requirements:
Doctors Lounge Membership
Thoracentesis and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery
Individuals who have pleural effusions should undergo
thoracentesis. If thoracentesis does not show malignant cells then
Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) may permit direct
visualization of the pleural surface, enabling direct biopsy from
pleural nodules, facilitating biopsy of ipsilateral mediastinal
Serum tumor markers
Measurement of serum tumor-associated antigens has no
current role in the staging of NSCLC.