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Lung Cancer Diagnosis

Various Procedures For A Lung Cancer Diagnosis – Which One To Choose And When?.

Lung Cancer Diagnosis

 

In 2017, 544 million people worldwide (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 5069–5848) had a chronic respiratory disease, increasing 398%  since 1990. As a result,  the importance of diagnosing and treating Lung Cancer Diagnosis cannot be overstated. Treatments for lung and breathing disorders are determined by the severity and, in some cases, the underlying cause of the disease, which can be determined using cutting-edge diagnostic procedures. We’ll go over a few lung diagnostic procedures and when they’re needed in the section below.

Bronchoscopy 

Bronchoscopy is a procedure that uses a lighted, thin tube (bronchoscope) to look directly into the lungs’ airways. The bronchoscope is put into the mouth or nose of the patient. It makes its way down the windpipe (trachea) and into the airways. The voice box (larynx), trachea, large airways to the lungs (bronchi), and smaller branches of the bronchi (bronchioles) can then be seen by a healthcare provider. 

Bronchoscopy can also be used to collect mucus or tissue samples, remove foreign bodies or other blockages from the airways or lungs, and treat lung problems.

When to choose bronchoscopy?

A bronchoscopy is used to diagnose a variety of lung problems, including: 

  • Coughing up blood
  • Bronchial cancer or tumors 
  • Pneumonia and fungal or parasitic lung infections
  • Interstitial pulmonary disease
  • Narrowed areas in airways (structures)
  • Inflammation and infections such as tuberculosis (TB)
  • Causes of persistent cough
  • Spots seen on chest X-rays
  • Vocal cord paralysis

Chest Ultrasound

In various studies, 5% of patients received more than 22 chest ultrasounds, and 1% received more than 38 examinations.

The lungs, pleural space (space between the lungs and the interior wall of the chest) and mediastinum (area in the chest including the heart, aorta, thymus, lymph nodes and trachea, esophagus) can all be assessed with a chest ultrasound. 

It is a non-invasive diagnostic exam that produces images of the space between the interior wall of the chest and the lungs. 

When to choose Chest Ultrasound?

If your pulmonologist suspects you have too much fluid in your chest, you may need a chest ultrasound. Your health care provider can use the chest ultrasound to determine whether the fluid is caused by cancer, infection, or inflammation.

Lung Scan

A lung scan is an imaging test that examines your lungs and aids in diagnosing certain lung conditions. It may also be used to assess the effectiveness of treatment. 

When to choose Lung Scan?

If the patient has symptoms of blood clots in the lungs, they may need a lung scan.

The signs and symptoms are: 

  • A rapid heart rate 
  • Breathing problems 
  • The heart is not the source of chest pain.

Pulmonary angiography

Pulmonary angiography is a procedure that measures the pressure of the blood vessels that carry blood to your lungs and looks for blockages or narrowing caused by things like blood clots. 

When to choose Pulmonary angiography?

If your pulmonologist suspects a blockage in your pulmonary or lung vessels, they will most likely prefer performing a pulmonary angiography. Pulmonary angiography can also be used to diagnose other problems in your body, such as a clot or a pulmonary artery aneurysm. Your doctor may order a pulmonary angiography if you were born with narrow blood vessels around and in your lungs to see if you have heart problems or shortness of breath when you exercise.

Spirometry 

Spirometry is a standard test that determines how well your lungs function. Spirometry assesses three factors: 

  • How much air can you take in? (inhale) 
  • How much air can you exhale? (exhale) 
  • How quickly can you expel air from your lungs?

When to choose Spirometry?

Your doctor may order a spirometry test if you’re having trouble breathing. Your doctor will examine your test results to determine what is causing it. If you have any of the following conditions, you should consider getting Spirometry: 

  • Asthma 
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 
  • Cystic fibrosis 
  • Pulmonary fibrosis ( scars in your lungs)

Thoracoscopy

Thoracoscopy is a procedure that allows doctors to see inside the lungs and the space around them (pleural space). When less invasive tests fail to provide conclusive results, doctors may use Thoracoscopy to examine the lungs and pleura. 

When to choose Thoracoscopy?

Thoracoscopy is used to determine the source of lung problems (such as trouble breathing or coughing up blood). It may be required for a variety of reasons: 

  • You have a suspicious spot in your chest that needs to be examined. 
  • For the treatment of small lung cancers 
  • Your lungs are surrounded by fluid.

Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs)

They are noninvasive tests that determine how well the lungs work. The information provided by pulmonary function tests can assist your healthcare provider in diagnosing and treating specific lung problems. The tests assess lung volume, capacity, flow rates, and gas exchange. The below-mentioned are the two types of disorders that cause problems with the movement of air into and out of the lungs: 

Obstructive: This occurs when air has difficulty exiting the lungs due to airway resistance. This reduces the flow of air. 

Restrictive: This occurs when the lung tissue and chest muscles cannot expand sufficiently. This causes issues with airflow, primarily due to lower lung volumes.

When to choose Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs)?

A medical professional may order these tests: 

  • If you have symptoms of any lung condition.
  • If you are regularly exposed to certain substances in the environment 
  • To track the progression of chronic lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma.

Chest X-rays

In 2021, approximately 68 million Chest X-rays  were performed in India, up from 62 million the previous year. Chest X-rays produce images of your lungs, heart, blood vessels, airways, chest and spine bones. X-rays of the chest can also reveal fluid in or around the lungs, as well as the air surrounding a lung. A chest X-ray is usually ordered if you go to your doctor or the emergency room with a chest injury, chest pain or shortness of breath. The Chest X-ray assists your doctor in determining whether you have heart disease, pneumonia, collapsed lung, broken ribs, cancer, emphysema or any other conditions.

When to choose Chest X-rays?

Your health care professional may order a chest X-ray to determine how well your heart and lungs work. If you are suspected of having any of the following conditions, you can have a chest X-ray.

  • Pneumonia or another lung condition 
  • Cancer or tumors 
  • Inflammation of the lung lining (pleuritis)

Wrapping it Up

Lung diseases are often debilitating and necessitate prompt diagnosis and treatment. Don’t ignore the warning signs; early detection can help you, and your doctor better understand and treat the disease, allowing you to make the best health decisions possible.

 

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