Asbestos Lung Cancer Biopsy

asbestosIn many cases, a pathologist will take a tissue sample or biopsy to confirm whether asbestos lung cancer is present (Diagnosing Lung Cancer, CancerNet, National Cancer Institute).

Types of biopsies include:

Bronchoscopy: The doctor puts a bronchoscope (a thin, lighted tube) into the mouth or nose and down through the windpipe to look into the breathing passages. Through this tube, the doctor can collect cells or small samples of tissue.
Needle aspiration: A needle is inserted through the chest into the tumor to remove a sample of tissue.

Thoracentesis: Using a needle, the doctor removes a sample of the fluid that surrounds the lungs to check for cancer cells.
Thoracotomy: Surgery to open the chest. This procedure is a major operation performed in a hospital.

Mediastinoscopy: Using a lighted viewing instrument or scope, the doctor examines the center of the chest (mediastinum) and nearby lymph nodes. Tissue samples are taken from the lymph nodes along the windpipe through a small hole cut into the neck.

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