What tests can be done to check for lung cancer?

There are a number of tests that can be used to detect lung cancer; however, most tests miss many early cancers, and are often ordered only after the patient has started having symptoms.  Traditional lung cancer tests include chest x-ray, sputum cytology (analyzing cells in mucus), and bronchoscopy (using a tube through the nose to look at the lungs with a tiny camera).

Based on our research, we recommend using CT scans to screen people at risk of developing lung cancer.  CT scans can find very small, early lung cancers, which gives doctors a much better chance of curing them.

Read more about early lung cancer detection with CT screening.

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