How Does My Doctor Know I Have Lung Cancer?
If you’re having lung-cancer-like symptoms, your doctor will want to know why. Your doctor is likely to ask you questions about your:
In addition to asking you questions, your doctor may also do these things:
Give you a sputum cytology test. For this test, each morning for three to five days, you collect the substance that you spit up from your lungs, called sputum. A pathologist then looks at the sputum under a microscope for cancer cells. Not all types of lung cancer show up in this test.
The results of these exams may be enough to rule out lung cancer. Or you may require further tests. Your doctor may need to remove fluid or tissue from a suspicious area found in a lung. This is called a biopsy. There are many ways to do biopsies for lung cancer, ranging from bronchoscopy (putting a thin, flexible tube down the mouth or nose and into the lungs) to different types of surgery.