Further tests for lung cancer
If diagnostic tests show that you have lung cancer, further tests are done to see whether the cancer has spread to other parts of your body.
A PET (positron emission tomography) scan is a specialised imaging test available at most major hospitals. You will be asked to fast (not eat or drink) for a number of hours before the scan. A small amount of radioactive glucose solution will be injected into a vein, usually in your arm. You will need to sit quietly for 30–90 minutes while the glucose solution travels around your body, then you will lie on a table that moves through the scanning machine very slowly. Cancer cells take up more of the glucose solution than normal cells do, so they show up brighter on the scan.
You may also have a CT scan of the abdomen to check the liver; a bone scan; and a CT or MRI scan of the brain.
For more information about these tests, talk to your doctor or call Cancer Council 13 11 20.
Dr Henry Marshall, Thoracic Physician, The University of Queensland Thoracic Research Centre, The Prince Charles Hospital, QLD; Dr Naveed Alam, Thoracic Surgeon, St Vincent’s Melbourne and Epworth Richmond Hospitals, VIC; A/Prof Martin Borg, Radiation Oncologist, GenesisCare, SA; Dr Lisa Briggs, Consumer; Kirsten Mooney, Thoracic Cancer Nurse Coordinator, WA Cancer & Palliative Care Network, WA; Claire Mulvihill, Lung Cancer Support Nurse, Lung Foundation Australia; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; A/Prof Nick Pavlakis, President, Australasian Lung Cancer Trials Group, President Elect, Clinical Oncology Society of Australia, and Senior Staff Specialist, Department of Medical Oncology, Royal North Shore Hospital, NSW. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
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