Where Cancer comes from
Cancer of the lung, like all cancers, results from an abnormality in the body's basic unit of life, the cell. Tumors can also cause cancer. Tumors usually can be removed and do not spread to other parts of the body. Malignant tumors, on the other hand, grow aggressively and invade other tissues of the body, allowing entry of tumor cells into the bloodstream or lymphatic system and then to other sites in the body. This process of spread is termed metastasis; the areas of tumor growth at these distant sites are called metastases. Since lung cancer tends to spread or metastasize very early after it forms, it is a very life-threatening cancer and one of the most difficult cancers to treat. The lung also is a very common site for metastasis from tumors in other parts of the body. Tumor metastases are made up of the same type of cells as the original (primary) tumor. Lung cancer picture
Picture of lung cancer.
Lung cancers can arise in any part of the lung, but 90% to 95% of cancers of the lung are thought to arise from the epithelial cells, the cells lining the larger and smaller airways (bronchi and bronchioles); for this reason, lung cancers are sometimes called bronchogenic cancers or bronchogenic carcinomas. (Carcinoma is another term for cancer.) Cancers also can arise from the pleura (called mesotheliomas) or rarely from supporting tissues within the lungs, for example, the ...