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Benign lung tumors are a group of lesions that have their origins in pulmonary structures. Included in this category of tumor are hamartomas, bronchial adenomas and some rare neoplasms. About two to five per cent of lung tumors are categorised as benign. They do not pose serious direct problems, but can lead to complications that might make the patient vulnerable to conditions such as pneumonia. The cause of this type of tumor is not yet known.

Types of benign tumor

If cells begin to proliferate despite the control mechanisms that normally stunt their growth, then a neoplastic lesion might be formed. Hamartomas, the most common type of tumor are made up of random mature cells and tissues. For the most part, hamartomas comprise of masses hyaline cartilage. This hyaline cartilage might occur in conjunction with myxoid connective tissue, adipose cells, smooth cells and clefts lined by respiratory epithelium. Bronchial adenoma, which accounts for half of all benign pulmonary tumors, encompasses under its banner carcinoid tumors, adenocystic carcinomas and mucoepidermoid carcinomas.

Examination and approaches to treatment

Some symptoms that might indicate the presence of this type of tumor would include wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, hemoptysis, fever, low volume of breathing sounds, difficulty regarding percussion and rales. Some patients might be asymptomatic. Location has no bearing on whether a tumor is benign or malignant, and identifying a tumor as either in this manner is considered to be incorrect practice.

With regard to treatment and approach to dealing with these tumors, it might be necessary to undergo surgery in order to remove the offending tumor. Surgery is important with regard to identifying any potentially malignant lesions that might also be present. If tumors are causing symptoms such as those listed above, it will be necessary to remove the tumor. Symptomatic tumors indicate the presence of diseases such as pneumonia, atelectasis and hemoptysis.

Due to advances in minimally invasive surgical technology, it is becoming less important to remove tumors classified as benign. It is no longer absolutely necessary to undergo severe surgery - in which a large incision is likely to be made - in order to treat or identify a possibly benign tumor. A technique known as localized resection has evolved, which allows for shorter hospital stays and reduced morbidity rates. Additionally, a possible alternative to surgical resection exists in the form of bronchoscopic resection. This type of resection is effective with regard to endobronchial lung tumors.

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