Overview of Lung Tumors
Lung tumors can be
All lung tumors require medical evaluation because even noncancerous tumors can cause problems if they grow and block breathing.
The treatment of lung tumors depends on whether they are cancerous or noncancerous.
Noncancerous lung tumors can be divided into those that occur in the
Non-cancerous tumors may be identified based on the types of cells that make up the tumor (such as smooth muscle, fat, or nerve cells). Hamartomas are unique in that they are composed of disorganized bits of mature tissues such as cartilage, fat, and muscle.
Some non-cancerous masses in the lungs are caused not by a new growth of lung cells (neoplasm) but rather by inflammation due to an infection or to an immune disease, such as sarcoidosis.
Non-cancerous tumors often cause no symptoms other than wheezing, coughing, or shortness of breath, particularly if they press on or block an airway or become large.
Most often, doctors unexpectedly diagnose a noncancerous lung tumor when a chest x-ray or other imaging test is done for another purpose.
Most non-cancerous tumors are not treated, but some may need to be removed surgically to prevent the airway from becoming blocked.