What Is a Bronchial Adenoma?
Bronchial adenoma is a rare type of cancer that starts in the mucous glands and ducts of the lung airways (bronchi) or windpipe (trachea), and in the salivary glands.
Although the word "adenoma" means a noncancerous tumor, most bronchial adenomas are cancer and can spread to other parts of the body. Yet they often grow slowly and are treatable, so if you have one, keep in mind that they have a good outlook.
Carcinoid tumors affect hormone-producing cells and nerve cells. They can form in the lungs, or in the stomach and intestines.
Adenoid cystic carcinoma usually starts in the salivary glands in the mouth and throat. It also can affect the trachea, tear glands in the eyes, sweat glands, or a woman's uterus, vulva, or breasts.
Mucoepidermoid carcinoma happens in the salivary glands. Most cancers of this type affect the parotid glands in front of the ears.
Doctors don’t know the exact cause. Genes may play a role in some forms of this cancer.
People with an inherited disease called multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN) are more likely to get lung carcinoid tumors. Having radiation to your head and neck can raise your risk for mucoepidermoid carcinoma.
You may not have any symptoms at first, because carcinoid tumors and some other types of bronchial adenomas grow slowly.
Which kinds of symptoms you eventually get depends on where the cancer is located.
Carcinoid tumor symptoms include:
- Cough, sometimes with blood
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Flushing of the face
- Infections such as pneumonia
Adenoid cystic carcinoma symptoms include:
- Lump on the roof of the mouth, under the tongue, or in the bottom of the mouth
- Trouble swallowing
- Hoarse voice
- Numbness in the jaw, roof of the mouth, face, or tongue
- Bump under the jaw or in front of the ear
Mucoepidermoid carcinoma symptoms include:
- Swelling in the glands near your ears, under your lower jaw, or in your mouth
- Numbness or weakness of your face
- Pain in your face
To diagnose bronchial adenoma, your doctor may give you one or more of these tests: