Interactive Health Library
Resources for Understanding Your Diagnosis
A brochosopy is a procedure in which a long, lighted scope is inserted into the lungs in order to examine the airways of the lungs and to assess lung function.
Chest ultrasound is a procedure in which sound wave technology is used alone, or along with other types of diagnostic methods, to examine the organs and structures of the chest.
CT/CAT scans are more detailed than standard x-rays and are often used to assess the organs of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems,and esophagus, for injuries, abnormalities, or disease.
A lung biopsy is a procedure in which tissue samples are removed with a special needle to determine if cancer or other abnormal cells are present.
A pleural biopsy is a procedure in which a sample of the pleura (the membrane that surrounds the lungs) is removed with a special biopsy needle or during surgery to determine if disease, infection, or cancer is present.
A mediastinoscopy is a surgical procedure performed to examine the mediastinum - the space behind the sternum (breastbone) in the middle of the chest that separates the two lungs.
Thoracentesis is a procedure in which a needle is inserted through the back of the chest wall to remove fluid or air from between the lungs and the interior chest wall.
Treatment for lung cancer usually begins a few weeks after diagnosis. This gives patients time to talk with their doctor about treatment choices, to get a second opinion, to decide about treatment, and to prepare themselves and their loved ones.
The lack of effective methods for early detection of lung cancer is one of the reasons that most people diagnosed with lung cancer have advanced disease, and fewer than fifteen percent of these patients will survive more than five years.
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