Can a doctor detect lung cancer with a chest X-ray?

Medically Reviewed by Checkmark Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Sravanthi Sunkaraneni

Not exactly. A chest X-ray cannot confirm the diagnosis of lung cancer. However, the chest x-ray can be the first test when lung cancer is suspected. Lung cancer is often visible as a white-grey mass in the chest x-ray. This white-grey mass is not a definitive diagnosis because this condition can also occur due to other causes such as a collection of pus. 

Even though a chest x-ray does not give a definitive diagnosis, the x-ray report must not be ignored. If there is suspicion of lung cancer on X-ray, it is best to consult a specialist and get more tests done to investigate whether you have lung cancer. Often a specialist recommends a Computed Tomography (CT) scan or biopsy to confirm lung cancer.

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Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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