The number one warning sign of lung cancer is coughing up blood, known as hemoptysis. While there are several non-cancer reasons for hemoptysis, lung cancer is a common cause of hemoptysis. Whenever a patient presents with the new onset of hemoptysis, lung cancer should be number one on the list of possible medical conditions.

The initial reaction to getting a lung cancer diagnosis is scary, but it is treatable. If you have been misdiagnosed it is crucial to consult with a lung cancer misdiagnosis lawyer to learn the steps to take.

Warning Signs of Lung Cancer

There are other significant warning signs of lung cancer. The physician will examine the patient’s armpits (axilla) and neck for swelling and inflammation, which can be caused by enlarged lymph nodes. Enlarged lymph nodes are often caused by lung cancer. The physician will also listen to the patient’s breathing sounds for abnormalities, such as rales or wheezing, which may be caused by lung cancer. Enlarged lymph nodes in the armpits and neck and abnormal breathing sounds, when combined with hemoptysis, are strongly associated with lung cancer.

What is “Social History”?

When the physician suspects lung cancer, the patient’s “social history” is crucial and with lung cancer, the focus is upon the patient’s past history of smoking. The physician must find out whether the patient smokes or has a past history of smoking and the quantity of cigarettes or cigars smoked on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Studies show that 93% of all cases of lung cancer are caused by smoking. The physician’s index of suspicion for lung cancer goes up dramatically with a social history of smoking.

How Does a Physician Rule Out Lung Cancer?

A chest x-ray is one way, but the best imaging study for lung cancer is a CAT scan of the chest. A chest x-ray is a single photograph or image of the lung, while a CAT (computerized axial tomography) is a series of roughly 100 images of the lungs that shows all five lobes of the lungs(three lobes on the right side of the body and two lobes on the left side) in extraordinary detail. Each CT image shows a 5-millimeter section of the lung (this is almost microscopic). A chest CT scan is the best way to rule out lung cancer as an initial step when a patient has new signs and symptoms that can be associated with lung cancer.

Further Tests

If the CT scan of the chest shows evidence of lung cancer, then the next step is bronchoscopy, where the inside of the lung is viewed by the physician and biopsy samples of the inner tissues of the lungs, can be taken. A bronchoscopy with biopsy is a definitive way to confirm lung cancer.

Early diagnosis of lung cancer is critically important to the patient’s five-year survival rate. You should insist that your physician order a CT scan of the chest if you have any of the signs or symptoms of lung cancer and if there are any areas of concern on the CT scan, then you should insist upon a bronchoscopy.

Contact an Attorney Today

If you have the signs and symptoms of lung cancer the first thing you should do is contact a doctor. However, if the doctor fails to diagnose or mistreats your symptoms, please contact an experienced lung cancer misdiagnosis lawyer to help you through the process.

Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer