Bronchogenic carcinomas include small cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, large-cell carcinoma and undifferentiated carcinoma. Bronchogenic carcinoma is clearly associated with tobacco smoking. Once the diagnosis of bronchogenic carcinoma is confirmed by a biopsy study, disease staging with CT or FDG-PET is indicated because treatment is stage-based. While stage I and II disease benefit from surgical lobectomy, chemotherapy is essential for patients with stage III and IV.

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Definition

Bronchogenic carcinoma, simply called lung cancer, is a malignant tumor arising from the epithelial lining of the bronchus or bronchiole.

Epidemiology and Etiology

The incidence of bronchogenic carcinoma is estimated to be more than 200,000 cases per year making it the second most common malignancy in the United States, after prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women. Mortality-wise, it causes the highest cancer-related deaths in the United States, about 160,000 deaths per year in the United States are related to bronchogenic carcinoma. The average age at the time of diagnosis is around 65 years.

Relationship between cigarette consumption per person (blue) and male lung cancer rates (green) in the US over the century. By Kuebi = Armin Kübelbeck – Data taken from AACR Cancer Progress Report 2012[1], page 30, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42364867

Tobacco smoking is the single most important etiologic risk factor for the bronchogenic carcinoma. The risk of bronchogenic carcinoma has a direct relationship with the duration and dose of tobacco smoking. The passive (second-hand) smoking is also a risk factor.

The other known risk factors for bronchogenic carcinoma are exposure to asbestos, radon, arsenic, beryllium, chromium, nickel and soot.

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