Module 3. Diagnosis and Staging of Lung Cancer

How is non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) diagnosed?

Diagnosis of non-small cell lung cancer is “tissue based”. This means that typically if a patient has been given a CAT Scan or X-Ray which identifies an abnormality in the lungs, the next step is to do a biopsy which can done in a variety of ways. It can be done by the radiologist at the time of the CAT scan (or CT scan). A piece of the tissue is looked at by a pathologist under the microscope. Another way is using a “bronchoscopy” which involves a tube being placed through the nose or into the mouth and into the airway. The pulmonologist can use this tool to see the cancer and then take a sample of the tissue for biopsy. In some cases, surgeons can be involved in the diagnosis of small cell lung cancer. In these cases its usually when the cancer is located in places like the lymph nodes which are difficult for the pulmonologist or radiologist to reach.
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Animation - Diagnosis and Screening of Lung Cancer
1. Animation - Diagnosis and Screening of Lung Cancer
Slide Show - Diagnosis and Screening of Lung Cancer
2. Slide Show - Diagnosis and Screening of Lung Cancer
Animation - Staging of Lung Cancer
3. Animation - Staging of Lung Cancer
Slide Show - Staging of Lung Cancer
4. Slide Show - Staging of Lung Cancer

Expert Videos

How is NSCLC diagnosed?
5. How is NSCLC diagnosed?
How is SCLC diagnosed?
6. How is SCLC diagnosed?
What is screening for lung cancer?
7. What is screening for lung cancer?
What is staging for lung cancer and how is it determined?
8. What is staging for lung cancer and how is it determined?
What is stage I, II, III or IV lung cancer?
9. What is stage I, II, III or IV lung cancer?
If someone with lung cancer has very poor lung function, what should they be aware of?
10. If someone with lung cancer has very poor lung function, what should they be aware of?
What does it mean if a patient has “metastatic lung cancer”?
11. What does it mean if a patient has “metastatic lung cancer”?
What is “multi-focal lung cancer”?
12. What is “multi-focal lung cancer”?
What is “bronchoscopic ablation”?
13. What is “bronchoscopic ablation”?
What kind of healthcare team is a lung cancer patient likely to see?
14. What kind of healthcare team is a lung cancer patient likely to see?
What does pulmonary lung function mean and how is it tested?
15. What does pulmonary lung function mean and how is it tested?
What is a lung biopsy?
16. What is a lung biopsy?

This educational activity has been developed by
A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation and Mechanisms in Medicine Inc.

This activity is supported by an independent educational grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation Inc., and a Celgene Patient Advocacy Sponsorship.

This website is part of the Animated Patient™ series developed by Mechanisms in Medicine Inc., to provide highly visual formats of learning for patients to improve their understanding, make informed decisions, and partner with their health care professionals for optimal outcomes.