As a medical professional, you most definitely always want to be absolutely sure that all your diagnosis is correct. After all, your patients certainly wouldn’t appreciate you making some wrong conclusions and changing those every now and then. I suppose you understand how significant it is for you to be accurate here, which is precisely why you need to read more and learn more about all the helpful systems and tools that you can and should use in this specific process. If you are not sure as to what it is that needs to be done in order for this diagnosis to be confirmed and correct, then here is what needs to happen. You need to become aware of all the procedures and tests that can help you detect lung cancer rather quickly. Early detection is certainly important because it plays a huge role in the success of the entire treatment, and I am sure you get that already.
Of course, how soon you’ll discover this disease depends not only on you but on the patient as well. A lot of people tend not to go to the doctor’s until things get extremely serious. Even so, it is your responsibility to provide your patients with the best possible care once they arrive in your office, which is why you need to be acquainted with all of those tests and procedures that you need to have done so as to set the correct diagnoses and then start the treatment process.
There is no doubt in my mind that you are already aware of at least some of the tests that need to be done in this process. Yet, if you are not entirely sure whether you know everything that needs to be done, then the best thing to do is brush up your entire knowledge on the cancer detection process. Well, that is exactly what we are going to do today, so let us begin the learning process right away.
This probably goes without saying, but as mentioned, we are here to help you brush up your knowledge on this entire topic, which means that we have to start with the most basic thing here. Basically, the most basic thing you should do when there is lung cancer suspicion has your patient get an X-ray. Of course, it is perfectly logical that we are talking about a chest X-ray. Tumors will appear as gray masses on this test.
Read more about the tests that can help in detection: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/lung-cancer-detection
Now, while an X-ray is usually the first step in the detection process, you need to understand that it cannot provide you with a definite diagnosis. That is because it is quite difficult for medical experts to distinguish between some other lung conditions and cancer by simply looking at an X-ray. So, if the X-ray raises suspicions, you should proceed with doing some more thorough tests, including a CT scan.
This particular test includes the use of an X-ray and a computer to create a detailed image of the inside of a patient’s body. These scans are usually done with a contrast medium, which is basically a dye that helps improve the quality of the images and that helps with the entire detection process. So, this should definitely be the next test on the list.
If the CT scan results reveal that a patient has cancer at an early stage, then a PET-CT might be done next. This particular scan shows precisely where the active cancer cells are located, and that is important because it helps determine the best course of treatment. Make sure to inform your patients that this scan is completely painless because they might get a bit scared at this point.
Bronchoscopy & Biopsy
When signs of lung cancer have been revealed and when the above methods have been used in the detection process, the next thing on the list will be a bronchoscopy. This specific procedure allows you as a doctor to have a look at the inside of the patient’s airways and basically remove a small sample of cells in order for a biopsy to be done. This process might be a bit uncomfortable, but it is definitely necessary because it will further help with diagnosis and with treatment.
Other Types Of Biopsies
In addition to a bronchoscopy, there are also some other types of biopsies that you might want to have done at this stage. These procedures include a thoracoscopy, a mediastinoscopy, and a percutaneous biopsy. Those are some additional procedures that you can decide to have done with the aim of getting an even clearer picture of the actual condition of your patient and, thus, determining the best course of treatment. Whatever you do, you should keep in mind that every patient is different and that the treatment process can vary from one person to another, even though there are some general practices that will be the same everywhere.