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Lung Conditions

Abnormal Chest Lymph Nodes

Discovering that the lymph nodes in your chest have begun to swell can be alarming, but swollen lymph nodes are not always a sign of serious illness. So many conditions are associated with swollen glands that a doctor must evaluate other symptoms before making a diagnosis. Though some causes of swollen lymph nodes are benign, lymphadenopathy can also be a sign of many types of cancer and must always be evaluated by a professional.

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)

Acute Respiratory Failure

Respiratory failure results from inadequate gas exchange by the respiratory system, meaning that the arterial oxygen, carbon dioxide or both cannot be kept at normal levels. A drop in the oxygen carried in blood is known as hypoxemia; a rise in arterial carbon dioxide levels is called hypercapnia. Respiratory failure is classified as either Type I or Type II, based on whether there is a high carbon dioxide level. The definition of respiratory failure usually includes increased respiratory rate, abnormal blood gases (hypoxemia, hypercapnia, or both), and evidence of increased work of breathing.

Airway Obstruction-Malignant

Approximately one-third of patients with lung cancer will develop airway obstruction and many cancers lead to airway obstruction through meta stasis (the development of secondary malignant growths at a distance from a primary site of cancer}. Removal of airway obstruction is associated with improvement in symptoms, quality of life, and lung function

Airway Obstruction-Benign

The most common causes of non-malignant central airway obstruction are post-intubation and post-tracheostomytracheal stenosis (narrowing of the airway), followed by the presence of foreign bodies, benign endobronchial tumors and tracheobronchomalacia (is an uncommon disease of the central airways resulting from softening or damage of the cartilaginous structures of the airway walls in the trachea and bronchi).

Asthma

Bronchiectasis

Bronchitis (COPD)

Chronic Respiratory Failure

Chronic respiratory failure (CRF) is a long-term condition that happens when your lungs cannot get enough oxygen into your blood. Your heart, brain, and other organs depend on the oxygen in your blood to work properly. CRF can also happen when your lungs cannot get the carbon dioxide out of your blood. A buildup of carbon dioxide in your blood can cause damage to your organs. The decrease in oxygen and the buildup of carbon dioxide can happen at the same time. CRF may develop over a period of days to years.

Barrett’s Esophagus

This is a a serious complication of GERD, which stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease. In Barrett's esophagus, normal tissue lining the esophagus - the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach - changes to tissue that resembles the lining of the intestine.

Benign (non-cancerous) Diseases of the Airway

Benign (noncancerous) airway tumors are rare and include papillomas (HPV-related), granular cell tumors, hamartomas, carcinoid tumors, hemangiomas, neurogenic tumors, cartilaginous tumors or chondromas and others. These tumors are managed by a variety of interventional pulmonary and surgical techniques.

Chest Wall Tumors

The chest cavity—which houses the lungs, heart, and other vital body parts—is a bone-and-muscle cage framed by the sternum (breastplate), spine and ribs. Like any other part of the body, the walls of the chest cavity are susceptible to tumors. A tumor is any type of abnormal growth of cells, whether malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). Benign tumors of the chest wall are not uncommon. Cancerous tumors, on the other hand, are rare; they account for only 5% of all thoracic malignancies.

Collapsed Lung

A collapsed lung happens when air enters the pleural space, the area between the lung and the chest wall. If it is a total collapse, it is called pneumothorax. If only part of the lung is affected, it is called atelectasis. A totally collapsed lung can happen in people who are otherwise healthy, but lung disease (pneumonia or lung cancer) increases the chance.

Cystic Fibrosis

Diaphragm Paralysis

The diaphragm is a two piece flat muscle that separates the chest and abdominal cavities. Paralysis of this muscle is uncommon. Causes and risk factors include cancer, trauma and neuromuscular disorders. Patients with unilateral (or one sided) diaphragmatic paralysis are typically asymptomatic and do not need treatment. Patients may have some difficulty breathing in situations associated with exertion or if they have an underlying pulmonary disease. Treatment should be considered when shortness of breath is out of proportion to the physical exertion. Medical care should be focused on the source of the dysfunction. In anatomic causes and defects, the only treatment option is surgical repair. Once an anatomic cause is suspected, the most important next step is to discover the cause. Neurologic processes, depending on the source, can generally be treated medically.

Emphysema (COPD)

Empyema

An empyema is a collection of pus in the pleural cavity caused by microorganisms, usually bacteria. Often it happens in the context of a pneumonia, injury, or chest surgery. It is one of various kinds of pleural effusion.

Esophageal Cancer

The esophagus is the food pipe that runs between the throat and the stomach. Adenocarcinoma is the most common form of esophageal cancer in the United States, and it affects primarily white men. Squamous cell carcinoma cells are flat, thin cells that line the surface of the esophagus. Squamous cell carcinoma occurs most often in the upper and middle portions of the esophagus.

Foreign Body Removal Aspiration

Non-asphyxiating foreign-body aspiration in adults can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are nonspecific and chest x-rays may be normal due to organic composition of the foreign bodies. The diagnosis is often made via flexible bronchoscopy which enables the physician to see what is partially blocking the airway and causing difficulty breathing.

Interstitial Lung Disease

Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD), or diffuse parenchymal lung disease (DPLD), is a group of lung diseases affecting the interstitium (the tissue and space around the air sacs of the lungs). It may occur when an injury to the lungs triggers an abnormal healing response. Ordinarily, the body generates just the right amount of tissue to repair damage. But in interstitial lung disease, the repair process goes awry and the tissue around the air sacs (alveoli) becomes scarred and thickened. This makes it more difficult for oxygen to pass into the bloodstream. The term ILD is used to distinguish these diseases from obstructive airways diseases.

Lung Cancer

Lung Diseases (Malignant and non-Malignant)

Lung disease refers to any disease or disorder in which the lungs do not function properly. Lung disease is the third leading killer in the United States, responsible for one in seven deaths, and is the leading cause of death among infants under the age of one. The most common lung diseases include: Asthma, Collapse of part (or all) of the lung (pneumothorax or atelectasis), Swelling and inflammation in the main passages (bronchial tubes) that carry air to the lungs (bronchitis), COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), Lung cancer (malignant tumors), non-malignant (non-cancerous tumors} and Lung infection (pneumonia).

Lung Infections

A chest infection affects your lungs, either in the larger airways (bronchitis) or in the smaller air sacs (pneumonia). It is likely that your own immune system will deal with the infection, as most chest infections are caused by a virus. Lower respiratory infection can be caused by bronchitis, pneumonia, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), severe flu, or tuberculosis. Lower respiratory infection symptoms include a severe cough that may produce mucus (phlegm), cause shortness of breath, chest tightness, and wheezing when exhaling. These infections usually require medical treatment to overcome.

Lung Nodules and Masses (Pulmonary Nodules)

Lung nodules can be cancerous (malignant), though most lung nodules are noncancerous (benign). Lung nodules (small masses of tissue in the lung) are quite common. They appear as round, white shadows on a chest X-ray or computerized tomography (CT) scan. Noncancerous lung nodules are often caused by previous infections.

Mediastinal Tumors

Mediastinal Tumors are benign or cancerous growths that form in the area of the chest that separates the lungs. This area, called the mediastinum, is surrounded by the breastbone in front, the spine in back, and the lungs on each side. The mediastinum contains the heart, aorta, esophagus, thymus and trachea. These rare tumors demand careful evaluation and specialized expertise for an accurate diagnosis.

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. People who have worked with or been exposed to asbestos have the highest risk of developing mesothelioma. After being exposed to asbestos, mesothelioma symptoms can take 20 – 50 years to appear. Mesothelioma has no known cure and has a very poor prognosis.

Myasthenia Gravis Tumors

About 15 percent of people with myasthenia gravis have a tumor in their thymus, a gland under the breastbone that is involved with the immune system. Most of these tumors, called thymomas, aren't cancerous (malignant). Removal of the thymus gland is called a thymectomy. A variety of operative approaches, often dictated by the size and location of the tumor, are used to remove thymomas and thymic cancers.

Pleural Effusions

A pleural effusion is a buildup of fluid in the pleural space, an area between the layers of tissue that line the lungs and the chest cavity. It may also be referred to as effusion or pulmonary effusion and sometimes as “water on the lungs.” This excess fluid can impair breathing by limiting the expansion of the lungs.

Pneumonia

This lung disease is caused by an infection in the air sacs in the lungs. The infections can be caused by bacteria, a virus or a fungi. According to the American Lung Association, most people can recover in one to three weeks, but it can be life threatening. Symptoms, which include cough, fever, shaking chills and shortness of breath, can range from mild to severe. Suggested ways to prevent developing this respiratory condition include washing hands frequently, getting a flu shot or, for those at high-risk of pneumonia, receiving vaccinated.

Pleural Diseases

The pleura are the membranes that line the thoracic (chest) cavity and cover the lungs. There are several types of pleural diseases, including: Pleurisy - an infection of the pleural cavity. Viral infection is the most common cause of pleurisy. The most common cause of pleural effusion is congestive heart failure. Lung diseases, like COPD, tuberculosis, and acute lung injury, cause pneumothorax. Injury to the chest is the most common cause of hemothorax.

Pulmonary Blebs 

Pulmonary Blebs are small thin walled air blisters that develop in the lungs. When a bleb ruptures the air escapes into the chest cavity causing a pneumothorax (air between the lung and chest cavity) which can result in a collapsed lung. If blebs become larger, or come together to form a larger cyst, they are called bulla. Patients with blebs will typically have emphysema.

Pulmonary Air Leak Syndrome

Air leak syndrome is a term used to describe problems that happen when air collects within a baby's chest, but outside the normal air cells of the lungs. The air then creates pressure on the lungs and makes breathing very difficult.

Pulmonary Edema

Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary Hypertension

Pulmonary Hypertension is a type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in your lungs and the right side of your heart. In one form of pulmonary hypertension, tiny arteries in your lungs, called pulmonary arterioles, and capillaries become narrowed, blocked or destroyed. This makes it harder for blood to flow through your lungs, and raises pressure within your lungs' arteries. As the pressure builds, your heart's lower right chamber (right ventricle) must work harder to pump blood through your lungs, eventually causing your heart muscle to weaken and fail. Some forms of pulmonary hypertension are serious conditions that become progressively worse and are sometimes fatal. Although some forms of pulmonary hypertension aren't curable, treatment can help lessen symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Respiratory Disease

Respiratory Disease doesn't play favorites. It affects men, women, children, smokers, non-smokers and individuals who have never smoked. If lung disease is taking your breath, you do not have to deal with it alone. Cigarette smoking is either a cause or an exacerbator (the reason lung disease is getting worse) of every respiratory disease on this list. It is the leading cause of preventable illness and death and produces 443,000 deaths a year, around 49,000 of which are caused by secondhand smoke.