Explaining Medical Terminology Associated with Lung Cancer Treatment
Medical terminology is baffling for any layman and when we are confronted with a condition as serious as lung cancer, it helps to relieve some of the stress if you understand some of the terminology. Your doctor will help you with understanding what is happening and the treatment regime which is available, but you can also do much to help yourself by learning more about the condition and its cure.
Diagnostic Tools and Techniques
Lung cancer is usually discovered because of a routine chest x-ray or because symptoms occur which send them to the doctor, such as persistent coughing or coughing up blood. These are not conclusive indicators of lung cancer but prompt further investigation.
Lung cancer can be diagnosed using a combination of the following:
CT Scan – this is a tool using x-rays which provides a detailed picture of the lungs and any abnormality. The CT stands for Computed Tomography.
PET Scan – PET stands for Positive Emission Tomography and is a non-invasive procedure which highlights the tumor by using an injection of mildly radioactive glucose solution – cancer tumors use a lot of energy and the raw material is glucose sugar – if you have a cancer tumor, it will show up because the radioactive sugars will concentrate around it.
Bronchoscopy – is the insertion of a tube which has a camera and swab or biopsy-taking scalpel on the end of it. A biopsy is simply a small tissue sample which is taken from the affected area of the lung and sent to the lab for testing for cancer cells. A bronchoscopy can be mildly discomforting as the tube is inserted through the nose or mouth to reach the major airways so a swab or biopsy can be taken.
Needle Biopsy – the doctor will use the results of a CT Scan to guide a needle into the affected area of the lung so a tissue sample can be taken for testing.
Surgical Biopsy – if the abnormality is in a difficult to access part of the lung or is too small for a needle to accurately find it, then a small incision is made through which the surgeon is able to remove part of the lung containing the affected tissue. The tissue is then tested for cancer cells in the pathology lab.
Staging or TNM
Staging – the process by which a cancer is categorized based on a number of factors; the result is used to determine an effective and appropriate treatment regime.
TNM – staging is frequently referred to as “TNM” which stands for the three main factors – the presence of a Tumor, the cancer being present in the Lymph Nodes, and the spreading of the cancer to or from other parts of the body, referred to as Metastasizing.
Primary Cancer – this refers to a cancer which has originated at that spot and has not occurred because it has spread from another part of the body. Surgery is frequently used to treat early forms of primary lung cancer backed by chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
Metastasized Cancer – this refers to a cancer tumor which has originated elsewhere in the body and has spread to the lungs. It is not usually treated by surgery unless the cancer is non-aggressive and not too large.
- Imaging and the Treatment of Lung Cancer (bizarremedical.com)
- Air Purifier Reviews (rabbitair.com)
- Common Questions Asked About Chiropractic Treatment (chiropractorservice.com)
- Easing the Pain of Lung Cancer (everydayhealth.com)