There are roughly 225,000 new cases of lung cancer every year in the United States. Early diagnosis and treatment play a large role in improving outcomes.

A recently developed test could help identify lung cancer risk so people can get treatment more quickly.

It has some advantages, but it may not be necessary for everyone.

The benefits and drawbacks of the nasal swab lung cancer test are discussed in more detail.

Doctors usually diagnose lung cancer by testing tissue samples in a lab. Doctors get the tissues from your body by taking a biopsy. Biopsies are done using a specialized needle, a specialized tube (bronchoscope) down your throat, or surgery.

These methods are not easy to use and can take a while to get results. If the results are negative for cancer, you have undergone an unnecessary procedure. If the results are positive for cancer, then treatment was delayed.

The lung cancer test was designed to help address these issues.

About 80 percent of lung cancer deaths are caused by smoking, including tobacco cigarettes, cigars, pipes, low tar cigarettes, and menthols, reports the American Cancer Society.

Smoking, either currently or in the past, is believed to cause genomic changes throughout your respiratory tract. This is called the “field of injury” theory. This theory was first described in a 2011 paper, and its principles still apply today.

The changes in the genome can be used to figure out your lung cancer risk. Doctors can take saliva from within your nose instead of performing a more intrusive procedure.

“The lung cancer test can be done in a doctor’s office. A doctor will insert a sample into your nose and then take it to a lab. This might cause some mild pain.”

The lab will analyze the sample. It may take a few days to get the results.

You can find out your risk for lung cancer by taking a nasal swab.

If your risk is low, your doctor could recommend continued monitoring at regular intervals with imaging tests such as The chest-ray is an X-ray.s or A computed toms (CT) Scan is performed.s. If your risk is high, you could begin diagnosis and treatment immediately.

Because the vast majority of lung cancer deaths are a result of smoking, most people who are regularly screened for lung cancer today are current or former smokers.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends annual low dose A computed toms (CT) Scan is performed.s to look for lung cancer in anyone between the ages of 50 and 80 with a 20 pack-year smoking history. The USPSTF is a volunteer advisory panel that’s independent from the U.S. government.

Of course, people who have never smoked can get lung cancer too. Other risk factors include exposure to:

This is not a comprehensive list. Family history of lung cancer can increase your risk.

Everyone’s situation is different, so if you’re concerned about lung cancer, talk it over with a doctor.

If a low doseCT Scan shows a lung problem, a nasal swab could help you and your doctor decide on the best course of action.

According to a 2021 study, the nasal swab test successfully classified cancerous nodules larger than 8 millimeters (mm) as not being low risk. Additionally, no noncancerous nodules smaller than 8 mm were classified as high risk.

The test is good at identifying high and low risk nodules so you can either begin treatment immediately or avoid follow-ups.

The results are not as clear for the nodules. Additional testing is likely to be needed to determine the next steps.

Pros Cons
This test may help avoid unnecessary invasive procedures for people with noncancerous nodules. This is a new technology and may have limited availability.
This test may help avoid treatment delays for people with cancerous nodules. This test may or may not be covered by your insurance provider, depending on your risk level and your plan.
This test can be performed quickly and easily in an office without special machinery. If your results indicate an intermediate risk level, you will probably need further testing anyway.

What are the early symptoms of lung cancer?

Lung cancer often doesn’t cause any symptoms until it spreads to other parts of the body, although this isn’t true for everyone. If you do have lung cancer, detecting it early can lead to more effective treatment.

If you are experiencing the symptoms below, it could be a sign of other conditions. It is best to talk with a doctor.

Lung cancer symptoms include:

What is the most common first step in diagnosing lung cancer?

If a doctor suspects you have lung cancer based on your symptoms, they will often perform an image test. Doctors can look inside your body with these tests.

Lung cancer can be looked for using some of the images used for the test.

What other tests are used to diagnose lung cancer?

There are many tests that can help diagnose lung cancer. The tests involve analyzing lung cells. The doctor will choose the test that is most suited to your situation.

The tests used to diagnose lung cancer include:

Can lung cancer be detected in sputum?

mucus from your lungs can be coughed out Lung cancer can be detected withputum samples, but it is better at detecting some types than others. If your sputum samples do not show signs of lung cancer, you might still need additional testing.

Can the nasal swab test be used to determine how effective treatment is?

The nasal test is not currently used for this, but it could be one of the future uses if experts can demonstrate it is an effective tool to monitor treatment.

Current and former smokers are more likely to be affected by lung cancer. If you are at high risk of lung cancer, you should talk to your doctor about regular screenings.

A nasal test can help determine the best next steps in your treatment if a lung cancer screening finds a lung cancer nodules.