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Physical Exam and History
A physical exam consists of an exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the person's health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
A microscope is used to check for cancer cells in the sputum (mucus coughed up from the lungs).
Laboratory tests are medical procedures that test samples of tissue, blood, urine, or other substances in the body. These tests help to diagnose disease, plan and check treatment, or monitor the disease over time.
Bronchoscopy is a procedure performed to look inside the trachea and large airways in the lung for abnormal areas. A bronchoscope (a thin, lighted tube) is inserted through the nose or mouth into the trachea and lungs. Tissue samples may be taken for biopsy.
Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy
The removal of part of a lump, suspicious tissue, or fluid using a thin needle is called a fine needle aspiration biopsy. A pathologist views the tissue or fluid under a microscope to look for cancer cells. This procedure is also called a needle biopsy.
The removal of fluid from the pleural cavity (the space between the lungs and chest wall) through a needle inserted between the ribs is called thoracentesis.