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Doctor insights on: Can You See Lung Cancer On An X Ray

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,351 Doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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Can you see lung cancer in a chest x-ray?

Can you see lung cancer in a chest x-ray?

Maybe: It depends on the size and location of the lung cancer.

Small cancers (less than 1 cm) may be difficult to identify with chest radiographs.

Ct scan of the chest is much more sensitive in evaluating for lung cancer and associated disease. ...Read more

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Small cell lung cancer. How long was it there when you can see it on x-ray?

Small cell lung cancer. How long was it there when you can see it on x-ray?

Weeks to months: There is no hard and fast rule. In studies that tried to detect lung cancer early using a chest x-ray, almost half of the cancers appeared within a year of a normal x-ray. Taking into account the rate of growth of a cancer cell, and the minimum size needed for detection on x-ray, a good estimate for small cell is a few weeks to a few months. ...Read more

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What does lung cancer look like on an x-ray?

What does lung cancer look like on an x-ray?

It varies: It can be a mass, or unusual calcifications, or an unusual "infiltrate" on a chest x-ray. In other words, it can have many different appearances. A chest x-ray is a great tool, but it takes skill to interpret. I do not recommend you try to interpret your films, but your doc can review it with you to give insights.

Hope this helps. ...Read more

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Can lung cancer be missed on an x-ray?

Can lung cancer be missed on an x-ray?

Easily: Some cancers do not ever show up on x-ray, others look like pneumonia. A chest ct is often needed. ...Read more

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Does a sternum X-ray rule out lung cancer?

Does a sternum X-ray rule out lung cancer?

No: This x-ray is too limited. We have proven a ct of the chest is very helpful in screening for hi risk people though you don't fit age (55 to 74 who smoked > pack of cig/day for >30 ys and who are still smoking or who <15 yrs ago). Smoking volume history, infections and other factors should be considered before scans. With suspicion your primary md may still start with a chest xray before ct. ...Read more

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If one had lung cancer symptoms. Would it show on an X-ray and bloods.?

If one had lung cancer symptoms. Would it show on an X-ray and bloods.?

It might--or not: Advanced lung cancer would show on x-ray. Earlier cancers are better seen with ct scans. If you have been a heavy smoker for 15 or more years, your risk is certainly much higher of a cancer than a non-smoker. Non-smoking related cancers occur, but usually in much older individuals. ...Read more

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If I have chest pain and my X-ray was clear do I need to worry about lung cancer why would a tumor not show?

If I have chest pain and my X-ray was clear do I need to worry about lung cancer why would a tumor not show?

Many causes of Pain: Pain in the chest can be caused by many different reasons. Lung cancer can be one of these but it will often produce other symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath. If a chest X-ray is normal then you are not likely to have any tumor in your lungs. Other reasons to exclude is Angina (although it is a disease of the older people) or muscular pain (this is the most likely reason). Such pains go ...Read more

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If your having chest pain and worried about lung cancer wouldn't the tumor be big enough to show on a X-ray if having pain?

If your having chest pain and worried about lung cancer wouldn't the tumor be big enough to show on a X-ray if having pain?

NO: The size may influence pain; however, the pleura sac around the lungs has multiple nerve endings. Size is not necessarily the issue. ...Read more

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If you had lung cancer that has spread to other parts of your body would it probably be big enough to be seen on X-ray or your blood work be off?

If you had lung cancer that has spread to other parts of your body would it probably be big enough to be seen on X-ray or your blood work be off?

Yes and no: When Cancer starts to spread, it begins as clusters of cells that form tiny colonies in other body parts. These will grow in size over a few months to become visible on X-rays and various diagnostic imaging tests such as CT scan and or PET scan. Blood tests do not show cancer cells, so we rely on the above imaging tests and repeat them periodically (every 2-3 months) to monitor for the tumor growt ...Read more

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General discomfort in left lung, random sharp pain, had X-ray nothing there but that was 1-2 months ago, I'm 17, don't smoke, worried it's lung cancer?

Cancer unlikely: It is highly unlikely that you have lung cancer.
For good health - Have a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low fat milk and milk products, nuts, beans, legumes, lentils and small amounts of lean meats. Avoid saturated fats. Exercise at least 150 minutes/week and increase the intensity of exercise gradually. Do not use tobacco or alcohol in any form. ...Read more

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Would a clear chest X-ray mean there is no lung cancer?

Would a clear chest X-ray mean there is no lung cancer?

Not necessarily: Chest xrays are not regarded as good lung cancer screening tools. Ct-scan, while imperfect, is currently the best demonstrated screening tool for lung cancer. A proper protocol chest ct will use about the same radiation as a mammogram.
http://goo. Gl/b69an. ...Read more

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How accurate is a chest X-ray for diagnosing lung cancer?

How accurate is a chest X-ray for diagnosing lung cancer?

Not very: A chest ct is much more accurate as it provides much better detail. ...Read more

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Would lung cancer be detected on an X-ray when looking at the heart:?

Would lung cancer be detected on an X-ray when looking at the heart:?

Possibly.: A chest xray can detect lung cancer if the tumor is large enough and visible.

A chest ct is a better test at 'looking' inside the lung tissue and detecting lung cancers. ...Read more

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If lung cancer cannot be detected on chest X-ray what's the point in having one?

If lung cancer cannot be detected on chest X-ray what's the point in having one?

Lung cancer CAN: Be seen on chest x-ray, depending on the size and location of the lesion. Ct is the gold standard, but much more expensive and has a higher radiation dose. ...Read more

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I've had an X-ray, results show no lung cancer, however I have consistent discomfort in my left lung and often aches, do I have lung cancer? I'm 17.

I've had an X-ray, results show no lung cancer, however I have consistent discomfort in my left lung and often aches, do I have lung cancer? I'm 17.

Lung pain: Lateral chest pain in a young person is much more commonly due to infection like pneumonia or pleuritis, or perhaps even a local chest wall lesion like chondritis or bruising. Lung cancer usually does not present with pain. ...Read more

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Can a chest X-ray or echo detect lung cancer?

Can a chest X-ray or echo detect lung cancer?

Not easily: Cxr has been compared head to head with chest ct scan for screening in high risk patients for lung cancer. That study, national lung screening trial, found that in high risk patients, screening chest ct scan was more effective, and was found to save lives. Larger cancers might be seen on a cxr, but smaller cancers may be missed. ...Read more

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Could you help me for my mother, she may have lung cancer. We did x-ray, CT and biopsy. Thanks?

Could you help me for my mother, she may have lung cancer. We did x-ray, CT and biopsy. Thanks?

Help: How can we help you? Is it for sure diagnosed? Did the biopsy confirm it? Do you need help with your feelings around this diagnosis? Make sure to address any emotions you may have surrounding this process. ...Read more

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Can you have lung cancer if have clear chest x-ray (both PA & lateral view) two months ago?

Can you have lung cancer if have clear chest x-ray (both PA & lateral view) two months ago?

Of course, but...: The answer is NO, if a person is healthy and has no special reason to be suspected of having lung cancer. Many things are possible in life. So, as long as a person has lungs, he CAN have lung cancer, but it is not detectable until the tumor gets bigger. Likewise, he can have brain cancer, liver cancer, etc... But, in order to live a happy, normal life, we say NO CANCER when we don't detect cancer. ...Read more

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Does no focal consolidation, no effusion, or obvious pneumothorax in X-ray mean I should not stress myself out about having lung cancer?

Does no focal consolidation, no effusion, or obvious pneumothorax in X-ray mean I should not stress myself out about having lung cancer?

Stop worrying: This is good news. Try to stop smoking. One cause of a longstanding cough that baffles doctors is cough-variant asthma -- perhaps you have this. Best wishes. ...Read more

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Other than chest x-ray, any other ways to look for lung cancer? Blood tests, etc.? Thank you.

Low dose CT: The national lung screening trial (new england journal of medicine) showed that screening chest ct in high risk patients (heavy smokers and older patients) reduced deaths from lung cancer by 20% compared to patients screened with plain x-ray alone. There will soon be specific guidelines on exactly who should under go routine chest ct screening. ...Read more

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I stopped smoking at 29 yrs old after close to 15 yrs smoking. I just had a clear chest x ray. What are my future chances of getting lung cancer?

See below: This is the best thing you did! Your chances of getting lung cancer will diminish each year, reaching those of a non-smoker in about ten years. Congratulations! ...Read more

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I'm 43 non smoker just worried about lung cancer with a 3 on sed blood test CBC test good X-ray was clear with chest pain is lung cancer a worry?

I'm 43 non smoker just worried about lung cancer with a 3 on sed blood test CBC test good X-ray was clear with chest pain is lung cancer a worry?

Are you: Referring to the ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate)? A value of 3 mm/hr is normal. Even if it was elevated, the ESR is a very nonspecific indicator of inflammation and other pathology, and could be elevated for numerous reasons. You are relatively young and a non smoker, the chances that your pain is due to lung cancer are extremely miniscule. ...Read more

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I've had a cough for a week or so. Dry and wet cough about 12x a day. Could this be lung cancer? I had a clear chest X-ray in july. 36yo smoker.

I've had a cough for a week or so. Dry and wet cough about 12x a day. Could this be lung cancer? I had a clear chest X-ray in july. 36yo smoker.

Maybe: The typical warning sign for lung cancer is coughing up blood, although this is not always present in people with lung cancer. The most important consideration is whether or not you smoke. You need to stop smoking right away, permanently, and live a long, healthy, cancer-free life. If you stop smoking now, your risk of lung cancer is greatly reduced. ...Read more

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Pain right lung and back with slight dry cough for 2 months. Had bloods & x-ray. All fine. Docs not too concerned. I am extremely worried lung cancer?

Pain right lung and back with slight dry cough for 2 months. Had bloods & x-ray. All fine. Docs not too concerned. I am extremely worried lung cancer?

Further evaluation: If you are a smoker further evaluation with a ct scan of the chest may be indicated; you should also consider asking your physician for referral to a pulmonary specialist for evaluation of the persistent cough. On a good note- cancer is progressive so the longer the symptoms remain stable the less likely cancer is the cause. ...Read more

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On february, my chest X-ray showed an increase in interstitial marks. In march I was diagnosed with stage4nsc lung cancer. Was the increased interstitial marks a sign?

On february, my chest X-ray showed an increase in interstitial marks. In march I was diagnosed with stage4nsc lung cancer. Was the increased interstitial marks a sign?

Yes or no: As cancers spread in the lungs, they can cause what we call lymphangitic spread of disease. Those lymph vessels are along the blood vessels and yes they can look like increased interstitial markings. To make a decision from that alone would be difficult unless a mass is seen or a diagnosis established beforehand. Even radiation pneumonitis looks the same. Decisions are made from previous diagnosis. ...Read more

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34/m - clear chest X-ray but still coughing up tiny amounts of blood 3-4x's a week. Slight loss in weight. Is this lung cancer related? Xsmoker

34/m - clear chest X-ray but still coughing up tiny amounts of blood 3-4x's a week. Slight loss in weight. Is this lung cancer related? Xsmoker

Coughing blood: This is unlikely to be cancer but nonetheless needs to be followed up with your physician and possibly a lung specialist. ...Read more

Lung (Definition)

Deoxygenated blood enters the lungs from the right side of the heart and travels to the lungs. When you inspire, oxygen flows into the lungs, transverses the capilliares and attaches to hemoglobin down a gradient. At the same time, co2 diffuses into the capilaries and is expelled with exhalation. Oxygen rich blood then flows to the left side of the heart and into the ...Read more


Dr. David Cooke
864 Doctors shared insights

Lung Cancer (Definition)

Cancer that forms in tissues of the lung, usually in the cells lining air passages. The two main types are small cell lung cancer and ...Read more