What You Need to Know About Lung Granulomas

What Is A Lung Granuloma?

A lung granuloma is a benign tumor or cancer in the alveoli (lung’s air sacs) of the lungs. These tumors are usually found in children, but they may occur at any age. They are not life threatening, although some cases may cause shortness of breath and coughing up blood. Some types of lung cancers have spread into other organs such as the liver, bones or brain.

Lung Granulomas Are Not Cancerous Cells

The term “cancer” refers to cells that have grown out of control. Lymph nodes are part of our immune system.

When lymphocytes (white blood cells) from the bone marrow recognize cancer cells, they produce antibodies against them. These antibodies attack the cancer cell and destroy it. However, when these same white blood cells come across a lung tumor, they do not recognize it as harmful and so they continue to grow unchecked. Eventually, they become large enough to block the flow of oxygen through the alveoli and cause damage.

When Do Lung Granulomas Occur?

Lung tumors are most common in children, but they can occur at any age. The average age of onset is between ages 5 and 10 years old. There is no specific time when kids start having more lung cancer than adults, however there does seem to be a peak around puberty.

What Causes A Lung Tumor?

There are many factors that cause lung tumors, including tobacco smoking, family history, and genetics. The risk for lung tumors is greater if you were exposed to secondhand smoke in childhood or had a parent or sibling with lung cancer.

Where Are The Genetics Of A Lung Tumor?

Sources & references used in this article:

Accuracy of FDG-PET to diagnose lung cancer in a region of endemic granulomatous disease by S Deppen, JB Putnam Jr, G Andrade, T Speroff… – The Annals of thoracic …, 2011 – Elsevier

Mechanisms of Granulomatous Lung Disease from Inhaled Beryllium: The Role of Antigenicity in Granuloma Formation by PJ Haley – Toxicologic pathology, 1991 – journals.sagepub.com

Granulomatous disease in common variable immunodeficiency by LJ Mechanic, S Dikman… – Annals of internal …, 1997 – acpjournals.org