What happens during a fine-needle aspiration biopsy for lung cancer?

Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy of the lung is the removal of tissue or fluid from the lung using a thin needle. A CT scan, ultrasound or other imaging procedure is used to locate the abnormal tissue or fluid in the lung. A small incision may be made in the skin where the biopsy needle is inserted into the abnormal tissue or fluid. A sample is removed with the needle and sent to the laboratory. A pathologist then views the sample under a microscope to look for cancer cells. A chest x-ray is done after the procedure to make sure no air is leaking from the lung into the chest. Pulmonologists may also use a minimally invasive technology called endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA), as it is a less invasive way to stage lung cancer.

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