How frequently is non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) diagnosed in asymptomatic patients?

Updated: Jul 15, 2021
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Nagla Abdel Karim, MD, PhD  more...
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Answer

Lung cancer is often insidious, producing no symptoms until the disease is well advanced. In approximately 7-10% of cases, lung cancers are diagnosed incidentally in asymptomatic patients, when a chest radiograph performed for other reasons reveals the disease. Numerous pulmonary signs may be associated with NSCLC. Systemic findings may include unexplained weight loss and low-grade fever. (See Presentation.)


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