Which chest radiograph findings are characteristic of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)?

Updated: Jun 05, 2020
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Nagla Abdel Karim, MD, PhD  more...
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Answer

Chest radiographs may show the following:

  • Pulmonary nodule, mass, or infiltrate (see the first image below)
  • Mediastinal widening
  • Atelectasis
  • Hilar enlargement
  • Pleural effusion (see the second image below)
    Non–small cell lung cancer. Bronchoscopy. A large Non–small cell lung cancer. Bronchoscopy. A large central lesion was diagnosed as non–small cell carcinoma.
Non–small cell lung cancer. Left pleural effusion Non–small cell lung cancer. Left pleural effusion and volume loss secondary to non–small cell carcinoma of the left lower lobe. The pleural effusion was sampled and found to be malignant; therefore, the lesion is inoperable.

Popcorn calcification is usually a radiologic characteristic of benign lesions.

The percentage of patients found to have lung cancer incidentally through chest radiographs has been consistently low. Randomized controlled trials have shown that the use of screening chest radiographs does not reduce lung cancer mortality. [45, 46]

Go to Imaging in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer for complete information on this topic.


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