Distinguishing the Two Types of Lung Tumors, Benign and Malignant

When there is an abnormal growth of tissue in the lungs, this is probably a lung tumor. Lung tumors can be benign or malignant. This condition is important to be detected early so that the treatment success rate is higher.

So far, many people have misunderstood the definition of tumor. Some people think the tumor is benign. Others believe that tumors and cancer are the same thing. Actually the term benign or malignant depending on the nature of the tumor. It is said to be a benign tumor if the tumor tends to grow slowly and does not spread to other parts of the body. While malignant tumors tend to grow to invade the surrounding tissue and spread to other parts of the body. This malignant tumor is actually called cancer.

Not All Lung Tumors Are Cancer

Maybe many people who when diagnosed with lung tumors immediately feel they have cancer. Although this is wrong, it is understandable because most lung tumors are malignant. That is, most lung tumors do attack and kill the surrounding healthy tissue. In addition, these malignant lung tumors can metastasize or spread to other parts of the body or organs.

The lungs themselves become a dangerous place if you have cancer. This is because the lungs have many tissues, including a network of blood vessels and lymphatic channels. Both of these networks can be a medium for the spread of cancer cells throughout the body.

In some cases, lung tumors are the result of the spread of cancer cells from other parts of the body. The lung itself is a common location targeted for metastasis of cancer cells from all over the body. If a lung tumor originates from cancer cells in another part of the body, then the condition is not called lung cancer.

Types of Malignant Lung Tumors

Types of lung tumors that are malignant or cancerous, are divided into two categories based on the type and location of the cancer cells begin to grow.

  • Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

    This type of lung cancer is cancer that usually originates in the gland cells on the outside of the lungs. The most common type of NSCLC lung cancer is adenocarcinoma. Non-small cell lung cancer can also arise from thin, flat cells called squamous cells, called squamous cell carcinoma of the lung or epidermoid carcinoma. The rarest type of non-small cell lung cancer is large cell carcinoma. Cancers that include this type include sarcomas and sacromatoids.

  • Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC)

    The cells lining the bronchi in the center of the lungs are a common source of small cell lung cancer. The main types of lung cancer in this group are small cell carcinoma and combined small cell carcinoma. The last type is called a combination because it usually involves squamous cells or glandular cells. Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is caused almost entirely by smoking and usually spreads more rapidly than non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Some Types of Benign Lung Tumors

Lung tumors are not always malignant, because benign ones can also grow. Apart from not spreading to other parts of the body, benign lung tumors also usually do not endanger the life of the sufferer. Some of the lung tumors below are categorized as benign tumors, namely:

  • Hamartoma

    A hamartoma is an overgrowth of cells that look like cartilage. This is the most common type of benign lung tumor. Although slowly the size will increase, but this condition usually does not cause symptoms.

  • Papilloma

    Papillomas are benign lung tumors that grow out of the tissue surface. Benign squamous cell tumors are the most common type of pulmonary papilloma. Papillomas tend to grow in the bronchi. Symptoms will appear if the growth of this benign lung tumor blocks the airway.

  • Adenomas

    Adenomas are benign tumors that arise from cells in the gland that release mucus, hormones, or lubricating fluids. If they grow in the lungs, they are commonly named according to the type of cell they form, such as alveolar adenomas and pleomorphic adenomas. This type of benign lung tumor is very rare.

Some benign lung tumors can be found from various tissues in the lung. Some examples of these benign lung tumors are fibromas originating from the connective tissue in the lung, and lipomas originating from fatty tissue. If a benign tumor is formed from smooth muscle cells, it is called a leiomyoma.

Symptoms of benign lung tumors are sometimes non-specific and are often similar to other diseases that also attack the respiratory system. Signs and symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing up blood, chest pain when taking a deep breath. Some types of lung tumors can secrete hormone-like substances that can cause symptoms outside the respiratory tract. Symptoms in this disorder resemble Cushing's disease. Therefore, do a medical examination to the doctor, especially if there are symptoms that point to a lung tumor.

Lung tumors, both benign and malignant, both need to be watched out for. Lung function is vital for breathing. Thus, it is fitting that the lungs are protected from various kinds of disorders, namely by stopping smoking and avoiding pollution. Living a healthy lifestyle with a healthy diet and regular exercise can also reduce your risk of developing lung cancer.