If you've received the news that your lung contains something "suspicious," this may be a source of great distress. The first thing that may come to mind is a dreaded word: cancer. In many cases, though, a lung noduleturns out to be benign. This means that it isn'tcancer. A hard part is waiting and not knowing. Here's information that may make your wait just a little bit easier.
Lung cancer is far too common, and is currently the leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women in the United States. Lung cancer and may occur even in people who have never smoke, and in fact, the majority (around 80 percent) of people who develop lung cancer at this time do not smoke; they are either former smokers or never smoked.
At least twenty percent of women who develop lung cancer have never smoked a cigarette. That said, there are benign (non-cancerous) causes of lung masses.
Some causes of a lung mass include:
Other cancers – Some cancers that may appear as a mass in the lungs include lymphomas and sarcomas.
Benign (non-cancerous) lung tumors – Such as hamartomas which are the most common type of benign lung tumor.
Metastases (spread) of cancers from other regions of the body to the lung. The most common cancers which spread to the lungs and can cause a lung mass or masses include breast cancer, colon cancer, bladder cancer, or prostate cancer.
Lung abscesses - Abscesses are infections which have been "walled off" and contained by the body.
AV malformations - An AV malformation is an abnormal connection between arteries and veins that are usually present from birth.
Infections - Fungal infections such as coccidiomycosis and blastomycosis, and parasitic infections such as echinococcus (hydatid cysts) can cause a lung mass.
Pulmonary artery aneurysms – An outpouching in the arteries that travel from the heart to the lungs can appear as a mass on imaging tests.
Amyloidosis - Amyloidosis is a build up of abnormal proteins that form a mass.