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How Is Lung Cancer Diagnosed?
medical examination tests tumor markers diagnostic/biopsy procedures pathology

Diagnostic Dilemmas
solitary pulmonary nodulessynchronous pulmonary nodules


Symptoms of Lung Cancer (
Describes the symptoms and syndromes associated with lung cancer. Includes pulmonary symptoms, symptoms in other organs, symptoms linked to tumor metabolism, blood (hematologic) symptoms, vein and artery (vascular) syndromes, skin (cutaneous) syndromes, musculoskeletal syndromes, nervous system (neurologic) syndromes, and hormonal (endocrine) syndromes. [2000]

Clinical Manifestations (symptoms) of Lung Cancer (National Center for Biotechnology Information)
by Holland & Frei et al.
Cancer Medicine, 6th ed.
Hamilton, Canada: BC Decker, Inc, 2003
Interesting chart showing the frequency of clinical manifestations (symptoms) of both SCLC and NSCLC. [2003]

Initial Evaluation of the Patient with Lung Cancer: Symptoms, Signs, Laboratory Tests, and Paraneoplastic Syndromes (CHEST)
Abstract of the evidence-based lung cancer treatment guideline published by the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) in the supplement to the January 2003 issue of CHEST. Outlines the components of the initial evaluation for lung cancer, which are based on symptoms related to the primary tumor, intrathoracic spread of lung cancer, and patterns of metastatic dissemination. Points out the features of the history and physical signs that may be useful indicators of the extent of disease. Discusses how the standardized evaluation, relying on symptoms, signs, and routinely available laboratory tests, can serve as a useful screen for metastatic disease. Describes the common features of the various paraneoplastic syndromes associated with lung cancer. Additional recommendations and assessments are included. Aimed at physicians. [1/03]

Neoplastic & Paraneoplastic Syndromes Associated with Lung Cancer (Lung Cancer Online)
Links to information on Pancoast Syndrome, Superior Vena Cava (SVC) Syndrome, Clubbing & Hypertrophic Osteoarthropathy, Hypercalcemia, Hyponatremia and Syndrome of Inappropriate Secretion of Antidiurectic Hormone (SIADH).

How Is Lung Cancer Diagnosed?

Diagnosis of Lung Cancer: The Guidelines (CHEST)
Abstract of the evidence-based lung cancer treatment guideline published by the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) in the supplement to the January 2003 issue of CHEST. Lung cancer is usually suspected in individuals who have abnormal chest radiograph findings or have symptoms caused by either local or systemic effects of the tumor. The method of diagnosis of suspected lung cancer depends on the type of lung cancer (ie, SCLC or NSCLC), the size and location of the primary tumor, the presence of metastasis, and the overall clinical status of the patient. This guideline considers all manner of clinical presentations of lung cancer in light of currently available diagnostic procedures and makes recommendations to provide clinicians with guidance as to the most efficient approach to the diagnosis of lung cancer in individual patients. Aimed at physicians. [1/03]

Medical History and Physical Exam for Lung Cancer (Hoag Hospital)
Provides an overview of what to expect during your medical examination. Explains what information your doctor is looking for and why. [5/01]

Tests & Procedures (Lung Cancer Online)
Links to information on imaging tests and biopsy methods used to diagnose and stage lung cancer, including CT scan, bronchoscopy, mediastinoscopy, and fine needle aspiration biopsy, among others.

Tumor Markers (Lung Cancer Online)
Links to information on tumor markers used to aid in the diagnosis and management of lung cancer.

Pathology & Your Diagnosis (CURE)
by Melissa Weber
v.2, no.4 CURE (Winter 2003)
Discusses the role of the pathologist and explains how pathology is used in the diagnosis of cancer. Describes pathological examination, including immunohistochemistry and molecular testing. Stresses the importance of an accurate diagnosis. [2/03]

Diagnostic Dilemmas

Histology of Synchronous Pulmonary Nodules (ASCO Abstract)
Addresses the clinical dilemma presented by the simultaneous discovery of two pulmonary nodules occurring in different lobes or lungs. These lesions could be either benign or malignant; if both are malignant they could represent a metastatic process or synchronous primary lung cancers. Study results underscore the importance of addressing each lesion independently. [2000]


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Last modified: 30-Nov-2007
Karen Parles, MLS Editor