Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs. While normal lung tissue cells reproduce and develop into healthy lung tissue, these abnormal cells reproduce rapidly and never grow into normal lung tissue. Agglomeration of cancerous cells forms a tumour that disrupt the lung, making it difficult to function properly.

Diagnosis of Lung Cancer

Early detection of lung cancer is critical to improving chances of survival. Physicians use a number of different tests to detect and diagnose lung cancer, including sophisticated imaging scans that provide more accurate and sensitive results than conventional X-rays. The information from these tests enables the physician to determine the type and stage of the cancer and the best way to treat it. The tests include:

Physical Examination – Physical examination is important for detecting any signs of cancer such as swollen lymph nodes in the neck or collarbone area and also for evaluating over all state of health.

Chest examination – Examining the chest and listening to the lungs with a stethoscope provides information about abnormal breathing sounds or patterns.

Chest X-ray-X-rays are “flat” pictures of the lungs, which help to identify abnormal growths.

CT scan – Computed tomography also known as CAT scan is a sophisticated instrument that uses a computer to create a two-dimensional scan from a series of X-ray images; the newest version of the CT is called a helical (or spiral) scan. CT scans reveal much more detail than x-rays and the new helical scans are even more sensitive than regular CT scans.

PET-scan – Positron Emission Tomography is a scan that traces the way the body cells act on sugar. PET scans can find cancerous tumours because of their ability to take up radioactive sugar.

MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging is similar to a CT scan except it uses a magnetic field in place of X-rays to create an image.