The belief existed until recent times that the lungs and bronchi were practically immune to primary neoplasms. Statistics disclose that there is actually a predilection of primary tumors for these organs and that 12 to 15 per cent of all cancers originate in them.
Another erroneous belief was that all primary endobronchial tumors were malignant. In the light of more recent knowledge one finds that 5 to 10 per cent of such tumors are benign. The majority of the benign tumors have sufficient common histologic and clinical characteristics to constitute a distinct entity. This is today designated "adenoma." Adenoma is to be distinctly segregated from carcinoma which it so closely resembles histologically. Because of this close resemblance tumors of this group for years were classed as malignant; it remained for clinicians who followed the course of patients to determine that they were benign. "Benign" in this instance is not synonymous
SCHWARTZ L. ADENOMA OF THE TRACHEA AND THE BRONCHUS. Arch Otolaryngol. 1944;39(3):231–242. doi:10.1001/archotol.1944.00680010244004
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