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.
Yes and no. Chest x-rays are good tools for screening for lung cancers. If the nodule is large enough, it can be seen on a chest x-ray. However not all nodules are cancerous and therefore abnormal x-ray findings need to be evaluated by further testing including ct scans and biopsy.

Related Questions

Does finding a shadow on a chest X-ray always mean that the person has lung cancer?

No. A typical chest xray is not very specific. An abnormal chest xray should be followed up with a chest ct scan. A ct scan is very good to evaluate and find chest abnormalities. Read more...
Shadows mean. You have to find out the cause. All we used to have were chest x-rays. Only recently has there been proof that screening older smokers are ct scans better at detecting than chest x-rays. That study looked at 32, 000 case; found 4000 shadows, but only 400 cancers for round figues, but reduced lung cancer death by 25%. So, some, even most, shadows are not cancer. Read more...
Not always. But further workup with ct scan and possibly other tests is required. Read more...

I had blood from mouth after sneezing? Is it normal? I got a chest x ray and sputum cytology. Is that sufficient to rule out lung cancer?

Lung Cancer unlikely. You are too young to have lung Cancer. I would advise you to follow up with your doctor as to how he/she should monitor you further. It will partly depend on your future symptoms. If there is any more coughing with blood , then additional testing would be necessary. otherwise you should do fine. But do not smoke! Read more...

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

Not CXR; CT. A recent study showed that screening ct scans can detect some lung cancers early enough that they can be successfully treated in some people. A plain chest x-ray generally isn't sensitive enough to catch them early enough to matter. Even if cure isn't an option, a cxr that finds lung cancer can help direct treatment for symptom control. Read more...
Many things. If a chest x-ray (or any study) has been ordered, you should ask the ordering physician as to what reason/indication. There are many indications for chest x-rays. However, current standards and cancer guidelines are they are not indicated for lung cancer screening. Read more...
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...

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

Ct scan, biopsy. Chest x-ray is less sensitive and less specific compared to ct scan of the chest to be used in screening for lung cancer. No blood test available to screen for lung cancer. If there is anything suspicious in ct scan - a pet scan can be utilized for solitary lung nodule -but ultimately a core biopsy to the lesion would be needed for a definitive answer. Read more...
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...
Chest CT. is the most sensitive way to find lung cancer. It cannot diagnose a cancer per se, but it can detect the nodules that could be cancer and require additional evaluation or follow-up. Read more...

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?

Diminishing. It is still possible to acquire lung cancer, but with arresting the injurious process of active smoking it is less likely. Read more...
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...

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...
Probably not. Smokers often have chronic bronchitis which may progress to copd. Could also be infection. Cancer not very likely in your age group but not impossible. Cxr doesn't show all cancers. Why don't you just stop smoking? Read more...