Lung Cancer

Computed Tomogram of Tumor (CT)

This CT shows a tumor mass (T) in the right lung. The irregular shape suggests that it is a cancer. Examination of a section of it with a microscope is necessary for diagnosis.

Note that this CT appears different from the CTs of normal and emphysematous lung shown previously. The technique used here accentuates the bones and midline structures (and tumor) and excludes the lung markings.

Appearance of Carcinoma of Lung

This slice of lung shows a cancer with an irregular outline. There has been destruction of tumor at the center leaving a cavity. Note that the tumor involves both the upper and lower lobes of this lung.

Find and outline the tumor.

Sometimes, patients with tumors like this one have the tumor removed surgically. Nevertheless, tumor may recur after surgery.

Note that this lung does not show evidence of emphysema. Emphysema and cancer need not occur together, but there does seem to be an association between the presence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and the presence of cancer.


Small cell cancers like the one that the man in the case summary had often begin in the wall of a large bronchus (left arrow) and spread into adjacent lung tissue. In this case, tumor has also spread into a black-pigmented lymph node (right arrow). These tumors are so aggressive that they are usually not treated by excision, but rather with chemotherapy and radiation. Nevertheless, survival is only about 1 year.






























Cavitary tumor at the periphery of the lung