Alveolar Cell Carcinoma Evaluation
The evaluation of adenocarcinoma of the bronchus begins with a history and physical examination.
The physical exam may be normal in those with early adenocarcinoma of the bronchus.
Physical findings in someone with adenocarcinoma of the bronchus may include:
- Clubbing of the nails
- Signs of chronic lung disease:
- Barrel-shaped chest
- Decreased lung sounds:
- During examination of the lungs with a stethoscope
- Weight loss
- Rapid respiratory rate
Testing is needed to confirm the diagnosis of adenocarcinoma of the bronchus.
Tests that may be used to evaluate adenocarcinoma of the bronchus include:
- Complete blood count
- Kidney profile
- Serum electrolytes
- Pulse oximetry
- Chest x-ray: usually the first test, and most common way to detect lung cancer
- Bronchoscopy: can obtain a tissue sample to confirm the diagnosis
- Sputum cytology:
- Testing the cell from lung mucus for cancer
- Telomerase blood test:
- A blood test that may be abnormal if lung cancer is present
- CT scanning of the chest: a more sensitive method
- MRI scanning of the chest
- Bone scan
- PET scanning the lungs
Alveolar Cell Carcinoma Staging
Adenocarcinoma of the bronchus is grouped into stages, based on its severity and spread to other areas of the body. The staging system helps doctors determine the best treatment and further monitoring. Staging uses a TNM classification, for Tumor, lymph Nodes, and Metastases.
The T part of the TNM system has 4 stages:
- In stage T1, lung cancer is only present in the lung and is less than 3 cm in size.
- In stage T2, the cancer is confined to the lung, but is larger than 3 cm.
- In stage T3, the lung cancer has spread outside the lung to the chest wall, pleura, diaphragm or pericardium.
- In stage T4, the cancer has spread to the esophagus, trachea or heart, or elsewhere in the lung.
Stage N classifies any spread to the local lymph nodes. The groups are:
- N0: no local lymph node involvement
- N1: nodes involved on the same side as the tumor
- N2: nodes in the mediastinal area on the same side as the tumor
- N3: nodes involved in other areas
Stage M determines whether the cancer has spread to distant areas of the body. The groups are:
- M0: no distant spread
- M1: distant metastases to other organs
Continue to Alveolar Cell Carcinoma Treatment
- ATS and ERS: Pretreatment evaluation of non-small-cell lung cancer. The American Thoracic Society and The European Respiratory Society. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1997 Jul; 156(1): 320-32. 
- Botta DM, Head HD: Non-small cell lung cancer: an update. Curr Surg 2003 Sep-Oct; 60(5): 492-8. 
- Landis SH, Murray T, Bolden S, Wingo PA: Cancer statistics, 1999. CA Cancer J Clin 1999 Jan-Feb; 49(1): 8-31, 1. 
- Travis WD, Lubin J, Ries L, Devesa S: United States lung carcinoma incidence trends: declining for most histologic types among males, increasing among females. Cancer 1996 Jun 15; 77(12): 2464-70.