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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How is lung cancer diagnosed?

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    Dr Bhaumik Shah

    Medical Oncologist (Cancer Specialist)

    Dr Shah believes in family centered care and long consultations to put all anxieties at ease. He has trained in different illustrious institutes to obtain … View Profile

    Unfortunately there is no good screening method proven of value yet for lung cancer. So mostly they are diagnosed because of symptoms. Rarely they are diagnosed on scans done for unrelated purpose (work related chest Xray etc).

    The symptoms can be variable. Mostly they are due to the cancer occupying space in chest. The symptoms can be chronic cough (>2-3 weeks), blood in sputum, chest pain, new onset of wheezing or worsening shortness of breath. Sometimes the symptoms can be due to distant spread of the cancer. Common places for lung cancer spread are bones (spine, hip) or brain. They can present as worsening back or hip pain (>2-3 weeks) or head aches, vision change or seizures. Sometimes the symptoms can be subtle such as lack of appatite and unexplained weight loss or increasing fatigue.

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