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A 44-year-old member asked:

What's the difference between lung cancer and emphysema?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Christian Schultheis
Hematology and Oncology 25 years experience
Big difference: Emphysema is damage to the alveoli, the oxygen transferring areas on the lung. Lung cancer is a mass of malignant cells but do not directly affect the alveoli. Lung cancer can affect breathing by blocking the airway. Hope this helps.
Dr. Michael Depietro
Pulmonary Critical Care 36 years experience
COPD versus cancer: In emphysema the air sacs of the lung (alveoli) are damaged. The result is the lung "traps air in the damaged sacs and it becomes hard to exhale. The lung becomes over inflated. Breathing (getting oxygen in and carbon dioxide out) are progressively harder. In lung cancer a cell is damaged and can not regulate its growth, ( ie becomes cancerous) with tumor formation. Both are linked to smoking.

Similar questions

A 32-year-old member asked:

What is the difference between emphysema and lung cancer?

2 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Radiation Oncology 48 years experience
COPD: Is destructive lung disease, divided into chronic bronchitis and emphysems. It is measured by pft's: tests that determmine volumes and speed of moving air. Lung cancer is increased in people with copd, cells have gone awry, travel to other parts of the body causing death by local progression or distant metastasis. Similar cause: tobacco. Mode of death quite different.
A 40-year-old member asked:

Is it difficult to travel with lung cancer and emphysema?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sarah Kohl
Travel Medicine 36 years experience
A little bit: Traveling with lung disease can be slightly more complicated. Planning for routine medications, including oxygen takes some advanced planning. Discuss your plans with both your pulmonologist and your travel medicine specialist prior to booking the tickets. If you need oxygen while flying you need to arrange for special canisters or machines. Also plan how to mange a flare up at your destination.
A 45-year-old member asked:

What are the symptoms of lung cancer compared to emphysema?

3 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Radiation Oncology 48 years experience
The dirty little: Secret of lung cancer is that it causes very few symptoms in the early stages. Copd, emphysema and chronic bronchitis, have cough, shortness of breath, worse with exercise and stair climbing, and can cause blue lips and finger nails, purse lip breathing. Lunf cancer can cause "clubbed finger nails" once underway, lung cancer can cause trouble everywhere.
A 29-year-old member asked:

What is the percentage of smokers get lung cancer or emphysema?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Cooke
Thoracic Surgery 23 years experience
15-17%: About 15-17% of smokers develop lung cancer or emphysema. About 85% of patients with lung cancer have been exposed to significant amounts of cigarette smoke.
A 38-year-old member asked:

Chronic bronchitis emphysema and lung cancer can be caused by?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Internal Medicine 30 years experience
Smoking..,: The most common cause for both diseases is cigarette smoking. By either avoiding smoking or quitting if you do smoke, you reduce your chances of getting these diseases. See your doctor if you need help to quit.

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Last updated Sep 27, 2017


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