Imaging scan shows a detail and exact position about tumor but even then it is hard for doctors to tell it’s a carcinoid lung cancer or other kind of lung cancer. For this doctor need to see the sample of abnormal cells under microscope.
Sputum Cytology is the one way of doing this kind of test. In this test early in a morning sample of patients sputum (a mixture of saliva and mucus coughed up from the lungs) is taken-3 days in a row and looked up under microscope.
This test is best for finding other type of lung cancers not carcinoid lung cancer.
2. Blood and Urine Tests:
Carcinoid tumors are hidden chemicals into blood, so blood and urine tests are sometime helpful for detecting the Lung Carcinoid Tumor type.
Blood and urine test may give some useful information and can help in diagnosing some carcinoid tumor, but they are not always accurate. Some other medical conditions or sometimes not all carcinoid tumors may not release enough of the substances (that are used to test the blood or urine) to give a positive or accurate test result.
Carcinoid tumors make Serotonin which is broken by body into 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) and which is further released into the urine. To measure a 5-HIAA level in urine a common test is done by collecting over 24 hour urine sample.
Blood tests for chromogranin A (CgA), neuron-specific enolase (NSE), cortisol, and substance P are done to look for carcinoid tumor; sometime other test also done depending on the patient’s symptoms or to know where the tumor is located.
3. Pulmonary Function Tests:
After detecting Lung Carcinoid Tumor, Pulmonary Function Tests is often taken to know how well your lung is performing. Mostly this test is done if surgery is requiring removing the tumor by removing some or the entire lung. PFT give the surgeon an idea of whether surgery is a good option and if so, how much lung can be removed safely.