Lung cancer, bronchial carcinoma: definition and frequency
Lung cancer definition and frequency In over 80% of cases, tumors of the lung are malignant. Lung cancer, also called lung carcinoma or bronchial carcinoma, can occur in all sections of the lung . More than half of the tumors develop in the upper parts of the lung. This is due to the fact that these areas of the lung are more strongly aired during respiration and thus are also exposed to harmful substances.
The majority of the lung tumors develop from the cells of the mucous membrane lining the bronchi. The degeneration of mucus membranes is a step-by-step process. Occasionally in an early stage of cancer development changes occur in the mucous membrane, which can be recognized as cancer precursors.
There are different types of lung carcinomas. The small-cell lung carcinoma, which grows very quickly and spreads rapidly in the body, is particularly aggressive. Lung Cancer Types Non-small-cell lung carcinomas – including squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and large-cell carcinoma – usually grow slower. More than 80% of all lung carcinomas are non-small-cell lung tumors. Small-cell pulmonary carcinomas occur in less than 20% of cases. The type of tumor involved can only be determined by the histological examination of the cancer tissue by a pathologist.
How common is lung cancer?
Lung cancer is one of the most common malignant diseases in the Federal Republic of Germany. In 2013 the Robert Koch Institute estimated that approximately 35,000 men and 19,000 women were affected by this type of cancer. While the rate of new men has been declining slowly since the end of the 1980s, it is growing steadily in women.
The median age of the disease is 69 years, with the age average increasing. In part, this makes treatment more difficult, since elderly people have more concomitant diseases. The risk of disease increases with age and is also directly related to tobacco consumption.
As the vast majority of lung cancer diseases are triggered by smoking, the most effective prevention is to give up smoking or not to start smoking at all.