Lung cancer remains one of the most wide spread malignant oncologic illnesses. Lung cancer is a deadly disease and its poorly responds to treatment. The main problem is that it ’is extremely hard to recognize lung cancer at the early stages. Symptoms appear quite late. Therefore, lung cancer is diagnosed usually only on at stage 3 or 4 when radical treatment is impossible.
Doctors in Germany know how to recognize lung cancer even at the early stages. The main thing is to have a timely examination. Thanks to the high level of doctors' qualifications and high-precision diagnostic equipment, doctors manage to successfully diagnose lung cancer. Because tThis is of primary importance infor the fate future of the patient, since this pathology is practically not treatable at stages 3 and 4.
How to diagnose lung cancer?
Lung cancer does not have semeiotic (found only infor a certain disease) symptoms which makes diagnosing this pathology complicated. Early detection of the diseasePatients’ turnover is rarelow because there are no severe manifestations at the early stages of the illness. Even if patients do refer to theconsult specialists, doctors are not always able to suspect lung cancer.
Symptoms in diagnostics are of minimal importance. Usually the only clinical sign at the time of reference first visit is cough. Its peculiarity is that the patient feels as if he has some kind of neoplasm inside the bronchus, which he tries unsuccessfully to "cough up". Naturally, he does not get what he wants, and cough becomes chronic.
Other signs, in the presence of which the doctor can refer the patient toproceed with the diagnosis of lung cancer, are:
- Hemoptysis - is noted in 50% of patients, the allocated blood in the sputum has a bright red color, and in the later stages it looks like becomes a raspberry jelly
- Shortness of breath - observed in every third patient, due to compression of a large bronchius or trachea
- Pain in the chest - appears in advanced stages, because the lungs have no nerve endings, so pain occurs when a tumor sprouts into the pleura or causesgives a pleural effusion
Obviously, detecting lung cancer at an early stage by cough alone is quite difficult. Other syptoms appear later. Moreover, even they are not specific. For example, dyspnea is often observed with heart failure, and hemoptysis can be found in patients with tuberculosis. Therefore, early detection of lung cancer can only be done by screening.
How can one detect lung cancer in oneself?
Some patients believe that they can independently determine lung cancer at home. Perhaps, folk medicine even gives recommendations on this matter. But even if you are recommended to do conspiracies at night to recognize lung cancer in a dream, or to use certain plants for diagnostic purposes, trying to cause an attack of cough, these diagnostic criteria are highly questionable. Official medicine, however, cannot give recommendations that will help recognize lung cancer at an early stage, sitting at home in your underwear in front of the computer. For this, you will definitely have to go to the doctor, pass tests, and have an X-ray.
Diagnosis of lung cancer is possible on time, if not delayed with the examination. Modern xX-ray machines can detect even small formations. Do not try to detect lung cancer yourself. This is fraught with the loss of time during which the tumor will grow and give metastases.
Patients at risk can be preventively diagnosed. It allows diagnosing lung cancer inat the early stages.
Patients at risk include:
- Long-term smokers, afterfor more than 50 years
- Suffering from chronic bronchitis
- Often with pneumonia
- Suffering from tuberculosis
- Employed in the production, where asbestos is used
Such people should undergo oncologic screening to diagnose lung cancer at an early stage. It will allow you to detect lung cancer on time, and start treatment. For this, fluorography is used. A blood test for oncologic markers can be passed as well. If you can timely detect lung cancer in a timely manner, you can count onexpect good long-term results of treatment.
Can blood test show lung cancer?
There are oncologic markers of lung cancer that can be detected in the peripheral blood.
Currently, they usually identify presence of following substances:
- NSE - neuronspecific enolase
- CEA - cancer-embryonic antigen
- CYFRAyfra 21-1 - a fragment of cytokeratin 19
Detection of certain lung cancer oncologic markers depends on the histological structure of the tumor. Thus, NSE often increases in small cell carcinoma. The presence of a high level of CEA is characteristic foroften speaks of adenocarcinoma or large cell carcinoma. CYFRAyfra 21-1 is a marker that increases within all types of neoplasms. Therefore, to obtain the most accurate data, all three cancer markers are tested simultaneously.
Nevertheless, the specificity of the test is low. The presence of an elevated level of cancer markers causes suspicion of lung cancer, but does not provide an opportunity to establish a diagnosis. At the early stages, the level of these substances in the blood does not always increase. In addition, neoplasms of other localization and even non-oncologic diseases can trigger an increase in the level of oncologic markers.
Blood test in lung cancer is passed in the following cases:
- Primary diagnosis of the disease - to determine the indications for biopsy, when detecting X-ray signs of tumor formations
- Evaluation of the effectiveness of surgical treatment
- Assessment of the probability of tumor recurrence after treatment (with a relapse of lung cancer, a blood test allows you to see increased concentrations of cancer markers before clinical symptoms appear)
- Prognosis of the disease (the level of oncologic markers is estimated in dynamics)
Can general blood test show lung cancer?
Undoubtedly, general clinical laboratory studies help in the diagnostics of various diseases. But it is impossible to detect lung cancer, or even suspect it, on the basis of any general test is impossible. This requires targeted instrumental research.
What indicators of lung cancer in blood can be found? If a person haspasses a general blood test, a low level of hemoglobin and red blood cells can be detected in lung cancer, especially if there is hemoptysis. Often, increased SSEESR in lung cancer is detected. But all these signs are nonspecific. They occur in hundreds of other diseases, including those that are not related to the damage of the bronchopulmonary system.
What tests can show lung cancer?
Thus, we have found out that general clinical studies are of low importance. In this case, what tests have to be passed to detect lung cancer? The main role in the diagnostic process belongs to instrumental diagnostics. But laboratory tests for lung cancer are of great importance. First of all, we are talking about a cytological examination of sputum. In the presence of cancerous neoplasm, it allows you to identify atypical cells in 20% of cases. If the neoplasm has central localization, this analysis shows lung cancer in 75% of cases.
Sputum is collected on an empty stomach. It is taken 5 times. Before this, the patient rinses the mouth with water. Within 1 hour the material is sent to the laboratory. Such tests for lung cancer are passed by all patients with suspicion of this disease.
What other tests should I take for lung cancer diagnosis? In rare cases, a cytological study of bronchial flushing water is used. It is indicated instead of a biopsy in cases where it for some reason cannot be performed (for example, in the absence of necessary equipment or personnel). This analysis does not always show lung cancer. But in a number of cases, the lab technician can identify individual tumor cells.
What lung cancer looks like on fluorography?
Instrumental diagnostics remains the main way to detect oncologic diseases of bronchopulmonary system. Fluorography is an xX-ray study. It allows you to get a smaller image of the chest. This diagnostic method in many countries is considered as a screening one. It is used for early diagnosis of tuberculosis, lung cancer and other pathologies.
In lung cancer, fluorography indicates the presence of a round, usually spherical tumor. It can be detected at an early stage, with a size of less than 2 cm, before the onset of clinical symptoms.
Fluorography of In lung cancer fluorography is not considered a confirmatory test. One cannot say that this is a tumor after this procedure. But this diagnostic method makes it possible to suspect that there is an organic pathology in the lungs. The nature of this disease is evaluated in further studies.
What does lung cancer look like on an X-ray?
Chest X-ray is the main diagnostic method. Lung cancer on X-ray is detected in 80% of cases. The correctness of the procedure is ensured by the quality of the equipment and the skills of the radiologist. He should correctly install the patient, take pictures in two projections. In addition, the device must make a high-quality picture. Then the doctor should correctly interpret the data. Therefore, in different clinics X-ray examination for lung cancer diagnosis is of different informative value.
In developed countries, such as Germany, the detection rate of the disease inat the early stages is higher. Experienced German doctors know perfectly well what lung cancer looks like on an X-ray. And high-precision devices of the latest generations allow you to make images as accurate and detailed as possible. In the West, digital radiography is used. It allows processing the received pictures - brighten them, darken them, change the contrast, etc.
The main signs of lung cancer on the X-ray are the presence of the tumor itself, as well as signs of bronchial obstruction. Neoplasm can clog the large bronchus. As a result, atelectasis develops (lung collapse). It can be detected earlier than the neoplasm itself. There are also signs of hyperventilation and emphysema. Timely X-ray photo of lung cancer allows establishing a diagnosis at an early stage, if the diagnosis is carried out by a highly qualified doctor.
Lung cancer on X-ray looks like a hypoventilation site. If the neoplasm still has small dimensions size and does not completely overlap the segmental bronchus, a stenosis of 1 degree develops. In this case, lung cancer appears as a lighter segment of the lung. It is more bloated, because there is accumulated air, which cannot get out. Here, the doctor also notes the increased pulmonary vascularityimpoverishment of the pulmonary pattern.
With a further increase in the tumor size, it is easier to detect lung cancer from an X-ray. With stenosis of the 2nd degree, emphysema is defined which is an over-inflation of the alveoliswelling of the lung. The transparency of the segment becomes even more noticeable.
Degree 3 stenosis stopsmakes air movement stop completely. Fresh air does not come in and the old air dissolves. The result is atelectasis. In this case, the lung cancer on the X-ray looks like a darkened area. It is uniform, has clear boundaries. The lung itself is reduced in volume. The organs of the mediastinum can be displaced towards atelectasis.
With Usually lung cancer X-ray does not give as accurate information as computed tomography does. This is another radiographic study. It gives layered pictures of tissues.
Can lung cancer be seen on an X-ray? No doubts, it can be detected. However, further clarification of its location and dimensions is required. It is necessary to clarify the shape of the neoplasm and assess the condition of the lymph nodes. For this, CT is performed. Cancer on the computer tomogram usually looks like a round, sometimes oblong nodular formation.
How to find out if there is lung cancer?
To find out that lung cancer is present, you can use X-ray. But the result will not be 100% precise. There are also benign neoplasms that grow from the mucous membrane of the bronchus or lung tissue. Although they are quite rare (they constitute only 10% of all tumors), nevertheless it is necessary to identify lung cancer before establishing a definitive diagnosis and proceeding to treatment.
Pathology can be confirmed with the help of cytological research:
- Bronchial flushes
- Pleural fluid obtained by pleural puncture
If the results are questionable or inconsistent, lung cancer is finally detected at the next stage of the examination - bronchial. To confirm the diagnosis, fibrobronchoscopy is used. This is the method by which a camera with light is inserted into the bronchial tree and biopsy is taken in its course.
It is possible toTo detect lung cancer is possiblebased on such endoscopic signs:
- Presence of tumor growths in the bronchus lumen
- Infiltration of by the neoplasm of the bronchial wall
In addition, lung cancer can be defined by indirect endoscopic signs.
- Immobility of the bronchus
- Its redness in a restricted area
- Stagnation of blood
- Poorly expressed cartilaginous rings
- Low elasticity of the bronchus wall
- Looseness of its mucosa
- Increased bleeding
A biopsy is taken by different methods. Most often, special forceps are used for this, which "bitinges off" a fragment of the tumor. Brush biopsy (scraping with a special brush) can also be used. The material is taken from at least two points. After confirming the diagnosis, further studies are aimed at determining the stage of lung cancer.
Differential diagnosis of lung cancer
Lung neoplasms are similar to much other pathology by symptoms and even on X-ray. First of all, the doctor should know how to distinguish lung cancer from tuberculosis, pneumonia, aneurysms and other diseases. To do this, in the doctor’s can use many diagnostic proceduresarmor there are many tools. They are:
- CT or MRI
- Blood tests for cancer markers
Invasive diagnostic methods are used in the complicated diagnostic cases such as artificial pneumothorax, mediastinoscopy and thoracoscopy, diagnostic thoracotomy.
Diagnostics of lung cancer in Germany
It is impossible to independently determine lung cancer by symptoms. Therefore, one should always consult a doctor. If this disease is suspected, a comprehensive examination is required. You can undergo examination in Germany.
Here you will get a number of advantages:
- High-precision diagnostics, minimum risk of diagnostic pitfallerror
- The examination takes place in conditions of maximum comfort
- Invasive diagnostic procedures are performed using the high-quality anesthesia and sedation, which allows a person to avoid physical suffering
- If cancer is detected, treatment can be started immediately, which is more successful in Germany than in most countries of the world
If you want to have diagnostics in Germany, you just need to contact BookingHealth for help. We will choose a hospital for you, help with visa and tickets, we will provide an interpreter. We will completely arrange diagnostics and treatment for you and help to reduce expenses and provide insurance. You will receive support and care during all your stay in Germany.
Choose treatment abroad and you will for sure get the best results!
Author: Dr. Nadezhda Ivanisova