Lung Adenocarcinoma at 40x Magnification
The diagnosis and staging of lung cancer typically involves a variety of medical examinations. A history of smoking or exposure to certain known carcinogenic substances accompanied by symptomatic evidence is often suggestive of lung cancer. Chest x-rays are then usually ordered to determine whether or not a growth is present in the lungs, followed by computed tomography (CT) scans or other imaging techniques that can reveal more detailed information. Other procedures may be necessary to confirm that a tumor is malignant or to determine the specific type of cancer. These frequently include sputum analysis, a chest fluid examination known as thoracentesis, and various biopsy techniques, such as bronchoscopy, mediastinoscopy, and fine-needle aspiration.