Initial evaluation of the patient with lung cancer: symptoms, signs, laboratory tests, and paraneoplastic syndromes

Chest. 2003 Jan;123(1 Suppl):97S-104S. doi: 10.1378/chest.123.1_suppl.97s.


This chapter describes the components of the initial evaluation for a patient either suspected or known to have lung cancer. The components of the initial evaluation are based on the recognized manifestations of localized lung cancer, ie, symptoms referable to the primary tumor, intrathoracic spread of lung cancer, and patterns of metastatic dissemination. Features of the history and physical signs may be useful indicators of the extent of disease. A standardized evaluation, relying on symptoms, signs, and routinely available laboratory tests, can serve as a useful screen for metastatic disease. Also described are the common features of the various paraneoplastic syndromes associated with lung cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Respiratory System
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Paraneoplastic Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Paraneoplastic Syndromes / physiopathology
  • Radiography, Thoracic