Table of Contents
Definition of Bronchogenic Carcinoma
Bronchogenic carcinoma includes small and non-small cell lung cancer. These tumors arise from the bronchial and bronchiolar tree in the lungs and are considered the leading cause of death from cancer in both men and women combined. Squamous-cell carcinoma, small-cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large-cell carcinoma, are all types of the bronchogenic carcinoma spectrum.
Epidemiology and Etiology of Bronchogenic Carcinoma
The incidence of bronchogenic carcinoma is estimated to be more than 200,000 cases per year, while bronchogenic carcinoma related deaths are about 160,000 per year in the United States. These figures put bronchogenic carcinoma as the second most common malignancy in the United States, after prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women.
Tobacco smoking is the most important etiology and the risk factor for bronchogenic carcinoma.
Another important category of smokers is called the never smokers. These are people who smoked less than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime. While small-cell lung cancer is rare in this group, adenocarcinoma is being increasingly identified. Environmental air pollution from fuel combustion has also been suggested as a possible etiological factor for bronchogenic carcinoma in non-smokers.