Your lungs are the sponge-like organs in your chest. They can be further broken down into 3 sections called lobes, the trachea (or windpipe), the bronchi, the bronchioles, and the alveoli.

Lung cancers, also known as bronchogenic carcinoma typically start in the cells that line the bronchi and various parts of the lung (like the bronchioles or alveoli). (2)

If you’re curious about exactly what is bronchogenic carcinoma of the lungs, what are the symptoms, and how is it treated — read on.

We’ll cover everything you need to know in this quick and informative article. 

What is Bronchogenic Carcinoma?

If you’ve heard the term — you might be asking, what is bronchogenic carcinoma? At one point, the term bronchogenic carcinoma was used solely to describe lung cancers that began in the bronchi and bronchioles. Today, bronchogenic carcinoma refers to any type or subtype of lung cancer. (1)

There are two major types of lung cancer — small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSLC). Small cell lung cancer accounts for up to 15% of lung cancer diagnosis and appears almost exclusively in heavy smokers. Non-small cell lung cancer makes up the bulk of lung cancer cases and includes adenocarcinoma (40% of cases), squamous cell carcinoma (30% of cases), and large cell carcinoma (10% of cases).

Lung cancer originates in the lungs. As it develops, abnormal cells (tumor) grow within the lungs, causing damage and eventually invading nearby lung tissue, lymph nodes, or organs. The exact cause of lung cancer is unknown, though when compared to other types of cancer, there are clear links between lung cancer and behavioral patterns. Common risk factors for bronchogenic carcinoma include smoking, second-hand smoke exposure, family history of lung cancer, older age, race, exposure to radon gas, and exposure to carcinogens. 

In addition to the main types of lung cancer listed above — SCLC and NSCLC — there are also tumors that can occur in the lungs. (2)

Lung carcinoid tumors: These slow-growing tumor cells account for less than 5% of lung tumors.

Other lung tumors: There are other types of rare lung cancers like adenoid cystic carcinomas, lymphomas, and sarcomas, as well as benign lung tumors (like hamartomas) which are treated in a different way than the main types of lung cancer.

Cancers that spread to the lungs: There are also cancers that start in other organs like the breast or skin that metastasize, or spread, to become a lung tumor. Keep in mind that these are not lung cancers and targeted therapy for these cancers is based on the primary cancer site. 

Symptoms of Bronchogenic Carcinoma

When discussing lung cancer, many people ask what is an early sign of bronchogenic carcinoma? The early signs of bronchogenic carcinoma can often be mild and not noticeable until after the cancer has spread. 

Potential symptoms include:

  • A persistent lung cancer cough
  • Bone pain
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Hoarseness
  • Inexplicable weight loss
  • Jaundice
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Wheezing

Because symptoms don’t typically show until later lung cancer stages, screening bronchogenic carcinoma is often done for high-risk individuals. Screening can be done through an imaging test, septum cytology, chest radiograph, ct scan, and a lung tissue sample. For more information, see our guide to lung cancer screening guidelines.

If an individual is diagnosed with bronchogenic carcinoma, medical treatments vary and can include both natural cancer treatment options or conventional therapies like surgery or chemotherapy. The outlook differs depending on the specific type of lung cancer, the stage at diagnosis, and the patient’s overall health.

According to the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER) from the National Cancer Institute, these are the 5-year relative survival rates for lung and bronchus cancers. (1)

  • Localized: 57.4%
  • Regional: 30.8%
  • Distant: 5.2%
  • Unknown: 8.2%

Remember that all cancers are different and these are only general figures. Your healthcare professional can help you discuss your best options and the best way to be proactive about your health moving forward. 

Treating Bronchogenic Carcinoma at ITC

At Immunity Therapy Center, we understand that treating cancer differs from patient to patient. We utilize a variety of alternative cancer treatments to treat bronchogenic carcinoma and strengthen the immune system while targeting cancer cells. We work with our patients to come up with a customized treatment plan based on the stage of their lung cancer and overall health.

If you’re interested in hearing more about our holistic cancer treatment plans, reach out to our team today. Our treatment center is home to an enthusiastic staff who is dedicated and passionate about what they do. We’ll work together to come up with the right type of therapy for you and your lifestyle.

From all of us at ITC, thanks for reading. Remember, if you’re experiencing symptoms of bronchogenic carcinoma, we’re here to help you heal on your pathway to health.



Written By: Dr. David Alvarez

Dr. David Alvarez is a Board Certified Medical Doctor from Universidad Xochicalco and Certified by the American Heart Association (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support).

Dr. Alvarez has been collaborating with Dr. Bautista as an Assistant Medical Director at the Immunity Therapy Center for over 6 years. He provides daily on site patient care and participates on the medical board on research and development of patient treatment plans and programs. Dr. Alvarez is a knowledgeable and compassionate Doctor committed to helping patients get to where they want to be health wise through a more holistic and comprehensive approach.




  1. Pietrangelo, Ann. “Bronchogenic Carcinoma.”, May 20, 2019, Accessed on April 19, 2020.
  2. “What is Lung Cancer?”, October 1, 2019, Accessed on April 19, 2020.

Dr. Carlos Bautista is a Board Certified Medical Doctor. He received his Medical Degree from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California and has more than 20 years of experience working with Alternative Medicine to treat cancer, autoimmune diseases, chronic degenerative diseases, and infectious diseases. He opened Immunity Therapy Center in 2007 with the goal of providing the highest quality medical care for more than 5,000 patients.

At Immunity Therapy Center, our goal is to provide objective, updated, and research-based information on all health-related topics. This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles. All information has been fact-checked and reviewed by Dr. Carlos Bautista, a Board Certified Medical Doctor at Immunity Therapy Center. All information published on the site must undergo an extensive review process to ensure accuracy. This article contains trusted sources with all references hyperlinked for the reader's visibility.