Aimed at bridging imaging technology development with cancer diagnosis, this paper first presents the prevailing challenges of lung cancer detection and diagnosis, with an emphasis on imaging techniques. It then elaborates on the working principle of coherent anti- Stokes Raman scattering microscopy, along with a description of pathologic applications to show the effectiveness and potential of this novel technology for lung cancer diagnosis. As a nonlinear optical technique probing intrinsic molecular vibrations, coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering microscopy offers an unparalleled, label-free strategy for clinical cancer diagnosis and allows differential diagnosis of fresh specimens based on cell morphology information and patterns, without any histology staining. This powerful feature promises a higher biopsy yield for early cancer detection by incorporating a real-time imaging feed with a biopsy needle. In addition, molecularly targeted therapies would also benefit from early access to surgical specimen with high accuracy but minimum tissue consumption, therefore potentially saving specimens for follow-up diagnostic tests. Finally, we also introduce the potential of a coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering-based endoscopy system to support intraoperative applications at the cellular level.