Staging of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Staging of non-small cell lung cancer is the process used to determine if the cancer has spread within the chest or to other parts of the body. It is important to know the stage of lung cancer in order to plan appropriate treatment. Examples of tests and procedures used in the staging of non-small cell lung cancer include bone marrow biopsies, CT scans, and radionuclide bone scans.

Staging of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: An Overview

After non-small cell lung cancer has been diagnosed, tests are conducted to find out if cancer cells have spread within the chest or to other parts of the body.
 
The process used to find out if cancer has spread within the chest or to other parts of the body is called staging. The information gathered from the staging process determines the stage of lung cancer. It is important to know the stage in order to plan lung cancer treatment.
 

Tests for Staging of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

The following tests and procedures may be used in the staging of non-small cell lung cancer:
 
  • Bone marrow biopsy
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Radionuclide bone scan
  • PET scan
  • Laboratory tests
  • Lymph node biopsy
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Mediastinoscopy
  • Anterior mediastinotomy.
     
Bone Marrow Biopsy
A bone marrow biopsy involves the removal of a small piece of bone and bone marrow by inserting a needle into the hip bone or breastbone. A pathologist views both the bone and the bone marrow samples under a microscope to look for signs of cancer.
 
CT Scan
A CT scan (CAT scan) of brain, chest, and abdomen is a procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, taken from different angles. The pictures are made by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography.
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