bronchogenic carcinoma

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
Related to bronchogenic carcinoma: Bronchoalveolar Carcinoma


 [kahr″sĭ-no´mah] (pl. carcinomas, carcino´mata)
a malignant new growth made up of epithelial cells tending to infiltrate surrounding tissues and to give rise to metastases. A form of cancer, carcinoma makes up the majority of the cases of malignancy of the breast, uterus, intestinal tract, skin, and tongue.
adenocystic carcinoma (adenoid cystic carcinoma) carcinoma marked by cylinders or bands of hyaline or mucinous stroma separated or surrounded by nests or cords of small epithelial cells, occurring in the mammary and salivary glands, and mucous glands of the respiratory tract. Called also cylindroma.
alveolar carcinoma bronchioloalveolar carcinoma.
basal cell carcinoma the most common form of skin cancer, consisting of an epithelial tumor of the skin originating from neoplastic differentiation of basal cells, rarely metastatic but locally invasive and aggressive. It usually occurs as small pearly nodules or plaques on the face of an older adult, particularly on a sun-exposed area of someone with fair skin. It has been divided into numerous subtypes on the basis of clinical and histological characteristics.
basosquamous carcinoma carcinoma that histologically exhibits both basal and squamous elements.
bronchioalveolar carcinoma (bronchiolar carcinoma) (bronchioloalveolar carcinoma) (bronchoalveolar carcinoma) a variant type of adenocarcinoma of the lung, with columnar to cuboidal epithelial cells lining the alveolar septa and projecting into alveolar spaces in branching papillary formations. Called also alveolar carcinoma or adenocarcinoma and bronchiolar, bronchioloalveolar, or bronchoalveolar adenocarcinoma.
bronchogenic carcinoma any of a large group of carcinomas of the lung, so called because they arise from the epithelium of the bronchial tree. Four primary subtypes are distinguished: adenocarcinoma of the lung, large cell carcinoma, small cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.
cholangiocellular carcinoma a rare type of hepatocellular carcinoma arising from the cholangioles, consisting of two layers of cells surrounding a minute lumen. Called also bile duct carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma.
chorionic carcinoma choriocarcinoma.
colloid carcinoma mucinous carcinoma.
cylindrical cell carcinoma carcinoma in which the cells are cylindrical or nearly so.
embryonal carcinoma a highly malignant germ cell tumor that is a primitive form of carcinoma, probably of primitive embryonal cell derivation; it usually arises in a gonad and may be found either in pure form or as part of a mixed germ cell tumor.
epidermoid carcinoma squamous cell carcinoma.
giant cell carcinoma a poorly differentiated, highly malignant, epithelial neoplasm containing many large multinucleated tumor cells, such as occurs in the lungs.
hepatocellular carcinoma primary carcinoma of the liver cells with hepatomegaly, jaundice, hemoperitoneum, and other symptoms of the presence of an abdominal mass. It is rare in North America and Western Europe but is one of the most common malignancies in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and elsewhere. A strong association seems to exist with chronic hepatitis B virus infection.
Hürthle cell carcinoma a malignant Hürthle cell tumor.
carcinoma in si´tu a neoplasm whose tumor cells are confined to the epithelium of origin, without invasion of the basement membrane; the likelihood of subsequent invasive growth is presumed to be high.
large cell carcinoma a type of bronchogenic carcinoma of undifferentiated (anaplastic) cells of large size, a variety of squamous cell carcinoma that has undergone further dedifferentiation.
medullary carcinoma that composed mainly of epithelial elements with little or no stroma.
mucinous carcinoma an adenocarcinoma that produces significant amounts of mucin.
nasopharyngeal carcinoma a malignant tumor arising in the epithelial lining of the nasopharynx, occurring at high frequency in people of Chinese descent. The epstein-barr virus has been implicated as a causative agent.
non–small cell carcinoma a general term comprising all lung carcinomas except small cell carcinoma, and including adenocarcinoma of the lung, large cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.
oat cell carcinoma a form of small cell carcinoma in which the cells are round or elongated and slightly larger than lymphocytes; they have scanty cytoplasm and clump poorly.
papillary carcinoma carcinoma in which there are papillary growths that are irregular in nature arising from otherwise normal tissue; it can occur in the thyroid gland, the breast, or the bladder. Called also papillocarcinoma.
renal cell carcinoma carcinoma of the renal parenchyma, composed of tubular cells in varying arrangements; called also clear cell carcinoma.
scirrhous carcinoma carcinoma with a hard structure owing to the formation of dense connective tissue in the stroma. Called also fibrocarcinoma.
carcinoma sim´plex an undifferentiated carcinoma.
small cell carcinoma a common, highly malignant form of bronchogenic carcinoma in the wall of a major bronchus, occurring mainly in middle-aged individuals with a history of tobacco smoking; it is radiosensitive and has small oval undifferentiated cells. Metastasis to the hilum and to mediastinal lymph nodes is common.
spindle cell carcinoma squamous cell carcinoma marked by development of rapidly proliferating spindle cells.
squamous cell carcinoma
1. carcinoma developed from squamous epithelium, having cuboid cells and characterized by keratinization. Initially local and superficial, the lesion may later invade and metastasize.
2. the form occurring in the skin, usually originating in sun-damaged areas or preexisting lesions.
3. in the lung, one of the most common types of bronchogenic carcinoma, generally forming polypoid or sessile masses that obstruct the airways of the bronchi. It usually occurs in middle-aged individuals with a history of smoking. There is frequent invasion of blood and lymphatic vessels with metastasis to regional lymph nodes and other sites. Called also epidermoid carcinoma.
transitional cell carcinoma a malignant tumor arising from a transitional type of stratified epithelium, usually affecting the urinary bladder.
verrucous carcinoma
1. a variety of squamous cell carcinoma that has a predilection for the buccal mucosa but also affects other oral soft tissue and the larynx. It is slow-growing and somewhat invasive.
2. Buschke-Löwenstein tumor, so called because it is histologically similar to the oral lesion.

bronchogenic carcinoma

lung cancer; although the term was formerly limited to malignant neoplasms arising from the epithelium of a bronchus or bronchiole, it is now applied generally to any primary malignancy of the lung or bronchial tract. Lung cancers are divided on the basis of predominant cell type into small cell carcinomas (15-25%) and non-small cell carcinomas (75-85%). Some tumors contain both cell types. Not included in this dichotomy are a small number (2-3%) of miscellaneous tumors (carcinoid, cylindroma, mucoepidermoid carcinoma). Small cell carcinomas of the lung tend to grow rapidly and metastasize early. They often produce hormones and antibodies capable of inducing paraneoplastic conditions such as hypercalcemia, Cushing syndrome, and myasthenia. Non-small cell carcinomas are subdivided into adenocarcinomas (50-60%; the most common type in women and nonsmokers), glandular cancers that usually arise peripherally, produce mucin, form tubular or papillary structures, and metastasize widely and early; squamous cell carcinomas (30-40%), which tend to develop centrally and in lower lobes and to metastasize more slowly; and the highly anaplastic large cell carcinomas (10%), which grow rapidly and produce carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA).

Bronchogenic carcinoma is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. in both men and women, and the most common cancer in men world-wide. About 200,000 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed each year in this country. The 5-year survival rate is 10-15%, depending on cell type. The increase in the incidence of lung cancer in the U.S. during the early 20th century closely followed the increase in cigarette sales, a fact first noted by Ochsner and DeBakey in 1941. A fall in the male:female ratio of lung cancer incidence began in 1935 and accelerated steadily with the increase in smoking among women. The age-adjusted death rate from lung cancer in women doubled between 1965 and 1974, and in 1987 bronchogenic carcinoma surpassed carcinoma of the breast as the most common fatal malignancy in women. Currently, about 90% of lung cancer deaths are directly attributable to cigarette smoking, and 25% of lung cancer in nonsmokers is due to involuntary (passive) smoking. About 11% of regular cigarette smokers develop lung cancer. Cancer risk is related to the age at which smoking began, the number of cigarettes smoked, and the depth of inhalation. Smoking cessation reduces the risk. Because adenocarcinoma of the lung is more common in families with other cancers and with inherited lung disorders, a genetic predisposition is probable. (Some people may also be genetically predisposed to nicotine addiction.) Inhalation of industrial carcinogens (particularly asbestos, silica, chromium, nickel, and polyvinyl chloride) and exposure to ionizing radiation or radon are other known causes. Bronchogenic carcinoma may encroach on the bronchial lumen or may invade adjacent lung parenchyma. The principal sites of metastasis are mediastinal lymph nodes, liver, brain, and bone. Complications include superior vena cava syndrome, esophageal obstruction, pericardial tamponade, phrenic nerve palsy, and Pancoast syndrome. Early symptoms (gradual onset of cough or change in a chronic cough, dyspnea, wheezing) may be wrongly attributed to smoking or to lower respiratory infection. By the time more ominous symptoms (hemoptysis, anorexia, weight loss, chest pain) occur, the condition is usually advanced and inoperable. Chest x-ray or computed tomography (CT) typically shows a solitary nodule and may also reveal evidence of atelectasis, pneumonic infiltrate, involvement of mediastinal nodes, or pleural effusion. MRI may detect invasion of vertebrae, spinal cord, or mediastinal structures. The diagnosis of carcinoma is confirmed by the finding of malignant cells in sputum, bronchial washings, or pleural fluid, or in biopsy material obtained by bronchoscopy, percutaneous needle aspiration, thoracoscopy, mediastinoscopy, or thoracotomy. Some studies suggest that screening high-risk populations (for example, smokers aged 60 or older) by means of CT or sputum cytology reduces morbidity and mortality. Low-dose helical (spiral) CT is more sensitive than standard chest radiography in detecting lung cancer, but may not be cost effective even in high-risk populations. Surgical excision is the treatment of choice for bronchogenic carcinoma. Lung-sparing procedures (sleeve lobectomy, segmentectomy, wedge resection) may permit surgical excision in patients with limited pulmonary reserve but are associated with higher recurrence rates. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy with cisplatin, mitomycin, vinca alkaloids, ifosfamide, and etoposide are chiefly of use as palliative measures in advanced or inoperable disease.

bronchogenic carcinoma

one of the more than 90% of malignant lung tumors that originate in bronchi. Lesions, usually resulting from cigarette smoking, may cause coughing and wheezing, fatigue, chest tightness, and aching joints. In the late stages, bloody sputum, clubbing of the fingers, weight loss, and pleural effusion may be present. Diagnosis is made by bronchoscopy, sputum cytological examination, lymph node biopsy, radioisotope scanning procedures, or exploratory surgery. Surgery is the most effective treatment, but well over 50% of cases are unresectable when first detected. Palliative treatment includes radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
enlarge picture
Bronchogenic carcinoma

bron·cho·gen·ic car·ci·no·ma

(brong'kō-jen'ik kahr'si-nō'mă)
Squamous cell or oat cell carcinoma that arises in the mucosa of the large bronchi; local growth causes bronchial obstruction and is observed radiologically as an enlarging lung mass; malignant tumor cells can be detected in the sputum, and they metastasize early to the thoracic lymph nodes and to the brain, suprarenal glands, and other organs through the bloodstream. Cause usually related to cigarette smoking or exposure to chemical carcinogens.


(kar?sin-o'ma ) [ carcin- + -oma]
A malignant tumor that occurs in epithelial tissue and may infiltrate local tissues or produce metastases. It may affect almost any organ or part of the body and spread by direct extension, through lymphatics, or through the bloodstream. The causes vary with tumor type.

Patient care

Optimal patient care includes: identifying and explaining to patient and family the type of cancer and its typical natural history; options for treatment, side effects of treatments, expected response of the cancer to the treatment, best predictions for recovery and life expectancy, availability of clinical trials, alternative and complementary therapies, and the potential benefit of referral to specialty cancer centers.

acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas

A rare carcinoma that arises from pancreatic cells that manufacture digestive proteins, such as lipase, chymotrypsin, or alpha-1-antitrypsin.

alveolar cell carcinoma

A type of lung carcinoma.
Enlarge picture
Enlarge picture

basal cell carcinoma

Abbreviation: BCC
The most common human cancer, typically found on skin exposed to sun or other forms of ultraviolet light. Although it is sometimes locally invasive, it rarely metastasizes to other organs. Typically it begins as a small, shiny papule. The lesion enlarges to form a whitish border around a central depression or ulcer that may bleed. When the lesion reaches this stage, it is often called a rodent ulcer. After biopsy, the removal method used is determined by the size, location, and appearance of the lesion. Synonym: basal cell epithelioma; epithelial cancer See: illustration

bronchioloalveolar carcinoma

A relatively rare form of non-small cell lung cancer consisting of columnar cells, and in which the tumor arises in the periphery of the lung within the septal borders of the alveoli, which the tumor tends to preserve. The tumor cells frequently produce mucin.

bronchogenic carcinoma

Lung cancer.

chorionic carcinoma


choroid plexus carcinoma

A cancer that arises from the cells that line the fluid-filled cavities (ventricles) of the brain.

carcinoma of the colon

See: colorectal cancer

colorectal carcinoma

Colorectal cancer.

carcinoma cuniculatum

Any slowly growing squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, typically presenting as a gradually enlarging warty tumor.

ductal carcinoma in situ of breast

See: ductal carcinoma in situ of breast

embryonal carcinoma

An aggressive germ cell tumor that may metastasize widely. It can occur in young adults of either sex.

epidermoid carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma.

carcinoma erysipelatoides

Metastatic spreading of cancer, usually from an internal organ to the skin, to which the spreading tumor gives a red, inflammatory appearance.

giant cell carcinoma

Carcinoma marked by the presence of unusually large cells.

glandular carcinoma


keratinocyte carcinoma

A cancer arising from cells in the epidermis. It includes basal cell carcinomas, keratoacanthomas, and squamous cell carcinomas of the skin. Most keratinocyte carcinomas arise in sun-exposed areas of the body, such as the ears, the temples, the forehead or the nose.

carcinoma in situ

Abbreviation: CIS
Malignant cell changes in the epithelial tissue that do not extend beyond the basement membrane.

medullary carcinoma

Carcinoma in which there is a predominance of cells and little fibrous tissue.

melanotic carcinoma

Carcinoma containing melanin.

mucinous carcinoma

Carcinoma in which the glandular tissue secretes mucin.

neuroendocrine carcinoma

Any of a diverse group of malignancies, such as carcinoid, islet cell tumors, neuroblastoma, and small-cell carcinomas of the lung. All have dense core granules and produce polypeptides that can be identified by immunochemical methods.

oat cell carcinoma

A poorly differentiated carcinoma of the bronchus that contains small oat-shaped cells.
Synonym: small cell carcinoma

carcinoma of pancreas

Pancreatic cancer.

pancreatic carcinoma

Pancreatic cancer.

papillary carcinoma of the thyroid

See: papillary carcinoma of the thyroid

renal cell carcinoma

A carcinoma that arises from the proximal tubular cells of the kidney. In 2008 the American Cancer Society estimated there would be about 56,700 new patients diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma and about 13,700 deaths from it. Synonym: hypernephroma; kidney cancer


Because of its location in the retroperitoneum, renal cell carcinoma may grow to a relatively large size before it manifests obvious symptoms. The most common findings are blood in the urine (hematuria), flank pain, or a flank mass. Some patients develop fevers, weight loss, or symptoms caused by hormones excreted by the tumor. These hormones (parathyroid-like hormone or erythropoietin) occasionally cause hypercalcemia or abnormal increases in the red blood cell count (erythrocytosis).


Surgical removal of the affected kidney may be curative for those patients whose tumor has not spread outside the perirenal fascia. Treatment options are less successful for patients with metastatic disease because renal cell carcinomas are relatively resistant to chemotherapy.

sarcomatoid carcinoma

A carcinoma that contains both epithelial and mesenchymal components. This cancer may arise from cells in the kidney, urinary bladder, or lung.

scirrhous carcinoma

Hard cancer.

small cell carcinoma

Oat cell carcinoma.
Enlarge picture

squamous cell carcinoma

Carcinoma that develops primarily from squamous cells, e.g., of the skin or in the mouth, lungs, bronchi, esophagus, or cervix. Synonym: epidermoid carcinoma See: illustration

thymic carcinoma

A carcinoma found in the anterior mediastinum, usually a squamous cell carcinoma, spindle cell carcinoma, or lymphoepithelioma. Many of these tumors release chemically active substances that cause paraneoplastic syndromes.

transitional cell carcinoma

A carcinoma that originates in cells that line the urinary tract, e.g., in cells that line the inner kidney, the ureters, or the urinary bladder.
Synonym: urothelial carcinoma

urothelial carcinoma

Transitional cell carcinoma.


a malignant new growth made up of epithelial cells tending to infiltrate surrounding tissues and to give rise to metastases. A form of cancer, carcinoma makes up the majority of the cases of malignancy of the mammary gland, uterus, intestinal tract, skin and tongue.

acinic cell carcinoma
locally invasive salivary gland tumors of dogs, and rarely other species, composed of glandular epithelium in an acinar pattern.
adenocystic carcinoma, adenoid cystic carcinoma
carcinoma marked by cylinders or bands of hyaline or mucinous stroma separated or surrounded by nests or cords of small epithelial cells, occurring in the mammary and salivary glands, and mucous glands of the respiratory tract. Called also cylindroma.
alveolar carcinoma
alveolar adenocarcinoma.
apocrine carcinoma
see apocrine tumors.
basal cell carcinoma
an epithelial tumor of the skin that seldom metastasizes but has potential for local invasion and destruction. Common in dogs and cats.
basosquamous carcinoma
carcinoma that histologically exhibits both basal and squamous elements.
bronchogenic carcinoma
carcinoma of the lung, so called because it arises from the epithelium of the bronchial tree.
cholangiocellular carcinoma
primary carcinoma of the liver originating in bile duct cells.
chorionic carcinoma
colloid carcinoma
mucinous carcinoma.
cylindrical cell carcinoma
carcinoma in which the cells are cylindrical or nearly so.
embryonal carcinoma
a highly malignant primitive form of carcinoma, probably of germinal cell or teratomatous derivation, usually arising in a gonad.
epidermoid carcinoma
that in which the cells tend to differentiate in the same way as those of the epidermis; i.e. they tend to form prickle cells and undergo cornification.
giant cell carcinoma
carcinoma containing many giant cells.
hepatocellular carcinoma
primary carcinoma of the liver cells.
Hürthle cell carcinoma
see hürthle cell tumor.
carcinoma in situ
a neoplastic entity wherein the tumor cells have not invaded the basement membrane but are still confined to the epithelium of origin; popularly applied to such cells in the uterine cervix.
large-cell carcinoma
a bronchogenic tumor of undifferentiated (anaplastic) cells of large size.
medullary carcinoma
that composed mainly of epithelial elements with little or no stroma.
mucinous carcinoma
adenocarcinoma producing significant amounts of mucin.
oat-cell carcinoma
small-cell carcinoma.
papillary carcinoma
carcinoma in which there are papillary excrescences; called also papillocarcinoma.
scirrhous carcinoma
carcinoma with a hard structure owing to the formation of dense connective tissue in the stroma.
carcinoma simplex
an undifferentiated carcinoma.
carcinoma of skin
squamous cell carcinomas occur on the third eyelid, cornea or the eyelid of cattle and horses, on the penis and prepuce of horses, from the mucosa of the frontal sinus to invade the horn core of cattle (called also horn cancer), on the ears of sheep, on the vulva of ewes when the tail is docked too short. In goats the ears, udder, base of the horn and perineum are also susceptible sites. The tumors grow rapidly, show considerable invasiveness and often metastasize to local lymph nodes. In dogs and cats, squamous cell carcinomas are common, particularly on the face and pinnae of white cats. See also squamous cell carcinoma (below).
small-cell carcinoma
a radiosensitive tumor composed of clusters of small, oval, undifferentiated cells that have hyperchromatic nuclei and scant cytoplasm and are typically bronchogenic. Called also oat-cell carcinoma.
spindle cell carcinoma
squamous cell carcinoma marked by fusiform development or rapidly proliferating cells.
stomach carcinoma
squamous cell carcinomas occur in the stomach of the horse and the bovine rumen. The associated clinical syndrome in the horse is one of indigestion and weight loss. Metastasis occurs commonly. In cows there may be vagus indigestion or chronic tympany of the rumen.
transitional cell carcinoma
occurs mainly in the urinary bladder of older dogs. Several structural types may be observed: papillary, polypoid, fungoid or sessile. Metastasis to regional lymph nodes and lungs is possible.
udder carcinoma
occurs rarely in mares and doe goats.
References in periodicals archive ?
The study presents some cost calculations for individual diagnostic and therapeutic procedures at different stages of bronchogenic carcinoma.
It can be concluded from this study that bronchoscopy is a very safe procedure for the diagnosis of bronchogenic carcinoma and also for smear negative PTB cases.
An SPN that involves a peripheral bronchus, seen on CT as an endoluminal filling defect or as bronchiectasis, mucus plugging, or peripheral hyperlucency distal to the lesion, should suggest a malignant SPN due to carcinoid tumor (Figure 14) or bronchogenic carcinoma, as granulomas and hamartomas rarely arise endobronchially as depicted on CT.
7%) patient had bronchogenic carcinoma who died before 2nd reembolisation due to excessive blood loss.
6] The radiologic workup of the bronchogenic carcinoma should always pursue to facilitate the resection of potentially curable lung cancers and to minimize the resection of benign nodules.
Three of these patients died of massive hemoptysis in 1 month after undergoing embolization (two patients with bronchogenic carcinoma and one with tuberculosis), one patient with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease died of hypercapnia in 3 days after undergoing embolization.
When exposure to asbestos fibers is combined with cigarette smoking, the incidence of bronchogenic carcinoma is approximately 55-fold greater than normal.
Serum alpha 1 -fetoglobulin in a patient with hepatic metastases from bronchogenic carcinoma.
The differential diagnosis for such a finding on chest radiograph or axial-CT images include other solitary pulmonary nodules, such as bronchogenic carcinoma and metastatic disease, hamartoma, tuberculoma, and bronchogenic cyst, to name a few.
Herein, we describe a case of pulmonary chondroid hamartoma presenting as an uncalcified mass which clinically mimicked bronchogenic carcinoma.