Bronchoscopy provides a look inside your lungs. A doctor inserts a thin tube into your mouth or nose down into your airways. The procedure is used to both diagnose and treat symptoms of lung cancer.
An endobronchial ultrasound uses ultrasound technology to help your doctor view the inside of your lungs and airways. It also is used to diagnose lung cancer.
A chest X-ray is a noninvasive imaging test that gives your doctor a picture of the inside of your chest. If your doctor sees a chest mass or possible tumor in your lungs, you may have more tests.
A quick computed tomography (CT) scan with a low amount of radiation can provide a picture of your lungs. The actual scan only takes about five minutes. CT scans can find lung cancer before symptoms ever appear.
An MRI of the lungs uses magnets and radio waves to create detailed images. MRIs are most often used to provide more details about lung cancer after it has been diagnosed.
If you have a lung nodule, your doctor may take a sample of the tissue for testing. This is called a biopsy. A needle is guided into the nodule using imaging to take a sample, which is then sent to the lab.
During a PET scan, you’ll have a small amount of radioactive material injected into your blood. This material shows where cancer cells are in the body. It can help diagnose and stage your lung cancer.
During this procedure, a doctor inserts a needle into the space between your chest wall and lungs. Then, fluid is removed. Thoracentesis can both provide a fluid sample for testing and relieve symptoms of fluid buildup.