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Diagnostic Tests & Procedures to Detect Lung Cancer

Our diagnostic specialists at the Cancer Institute at Gwinnett Medical Center provide a range of diagnostic tests and procedures to accurately determine your type and stage of lung or chest cancers. Through advanced imaging capabilities, our team works together to first diagnose and then follow up during or after treatment to determine next steps. 

Computed Tomography (CT) scan combines a series of X-ray views taken from many different angles and computer processed to create cross-sectional images (slices) of the bones and soft tissues inside the body. CT scans are best suited for viewing bones, diagnosing chest and lung problems and detecting cancers.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan is a diagnostic test that takes pictures using a powerful magnetic field along with radio waves to create images of the inside of the body. MRI is best suited for soft tissue evaluation. An MRI does not use radiation to create images.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan is a type of nuclear medicine imaging that uses a small amount of radioactive material to diagnose and determine the extent of cancer. Radioactive glucose is given as an intravenous injection. Cancer cells are more active than normal cells and absorb the radioactive glucose faster and show as bright areas on the images.

Bronchoscopy/Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) is a procedure in which the physician inserts a thin, flexible, lighted tube called a bronchoscope, through the nose or mouth into the lungs. The physician then uses an ultrasound probe to send sound waves through the walls of the airways to view the lungs as well as the lymph nodes surrounding the lungs.

Transbronchial Needle Aspiration (TBNA) allows a physician the ability to biopsy abnormal areas with guidance from the ultrasound.

Transthoracic or Percutaneous CT-Guided Needle Biopsy is a procedure in which CT imaging is used to help guide the physician to the area for biopsy. This procedure is done through the wall of the chest.

Mediastinoscopy is a procedure in which a scope (mediastinoscope) is inserted through the chest to examine and biopsy lymph nodes in the area between the lungs (mediastinum).


For More Information about Diagnostic Tests & Procedures for Lung or Chest Cancer

If you or a loved one has questions about diagnostic tests or procedures for lung or chest cancer, please contact our team at 678-312-3189. We’re here to help you with questions or concerns because we know that understanding what to expect is a big part of patient education at the Cancer Institute at Gwinnett Medical Center.