Difference Between Lung Cancer and Bronchitis

The lungs are an important part of the body just like every other organ. They are the main source of oxygen to reach our blood. We have two lungs and they help clear Carbon Dioxide which is present in the air we breathe.


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Lung Cancer and Bronchitis are diseases that affect the lungs.

Key Takeaways

  1. Lung cancer is a malignant tumor that originates in the lungs, while bronchitis is a respiratory condition characterized by inflammation of the bronchial tubes.
  2. Symptoms of lung cancer include chest pain, coughing up blood, and difficulty breathing, while bronchitis symptoms include coughing, wheezing, and chest discomfort.
  3. Lung cancer is treated with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy, while bronchitis is treated with rest, fluids, and medications to relieve symptoms.

Lung Cancer vs Bronchitis

Lung cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the lungs when the cells in the lung tissue grow uncontrollably and form a tumor. The tumor can then spread to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes. Bronchitis, is a respiratory condition that is caused by inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which are the air passages that connect the trachea to the lungs.

Lung Cancer vs Bronchitis

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Lung Cancer is caused by cancer cells. They grow in the lungs and affect the functioning of the lungs.

Lung carcinoma is the other term for lung cancer. These cancer cells present in the lung can furthermore affect the other organs of the body by spreading. 

Bronchitis is caused due to the inflammation of the bronchial tubes that are present in the lungs.

This is a communicable disease and can spread through the air when an individual coughs or when they are directly in contact with an infected person. It is also a viral infection in more than ninety per cent of cases.

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison Lung CancerBronchitis
No. of people affected in a yearMore than one million people are affected each yearMore than 10 million people are affected each year 
Caused byCancer cellsInfected Bronchial tubes
Symptoms Coughing with blood, wheezingBreathing is difficult, dry cough or cough with phlegm
TreatmentsDepends on the cancer stage, surgery, radiation therapy Can be cured by self, Narcotics and cough medicine
Where it is presentPredominantly present in the lungs and spreads to other organs Present in the bronchial tubes

What is Lung Cancer?

Lung Cancer is caused by the cancer cells in the lungs. The most common cause of death by cancer is due to lung cancer. It is also known as lung carcinoma.

Mesenchymal cells and Epithelial cells can cause cancer. Epithelial cells group and form as malignant cells.

Mesenchymal cells are formed by the connective tissues.

Cancer can grow and spread to the other parts it is called metastasis. Carcinomas is the term for initial lung cancer. Due to tobacco smoking lung cancer occurs.

And that is why the cigarette packets have warnings of lung cancer on them. Even genetic factors can be the cause of cancer.

Avoiding smoking and not going into places where there is a lot of air pollution can reduce the risk of getting cancer. There are two types of lung cancer. 

Mostly eighty-five per cent of people have cancer due to smoking. Only ten to fifteen per cent have cancer which is not caused by smoking.

Lung Cancer can affect not just breathing but also cause rapid weight loss, fever, wheezing, pain in the chest and bones. It is also difficult to swallow food properly.

These cancer cells can spread to the liver, kidneys and even the brain.

What is Bronchitis?

Bronchitis is caused by the inflammation of bronchi tubes. It can cause coughing which is either with mucous or dry cough.

This can spread by direct contact with people or the air. There are two types of bronchitis: chronic and acute.

Bronchial tubes are present in the lung.

Tobacco, pollution and dust are the main causes of Bronchitis. Five per cent of the adults and six per cent of the children get this.

Chronic Bronchitis can be there either for three months or for a year. This is a communicable and also an infectious disease.

Antibiotics are not usually given for this.

Acute bronchitis is caused by a viral infection. If an individual has a cough for ten weeks or more it can be acute bronchitis.

This cough is also called a smokers cough as it prolongs for a longer period. Smoking should be avoided to get rid of this disease. 

Chronic Bronchitis has a cough with phlegm. It can have spotting of blood, yellow or green colour.

Medications and oxygen therapy can help cure this disease. For many centuries this disease has existed. 


Main Differences Between Lung Cancer and Bronchitis

  1. Lung cancer is a disease that is caused by the growth of cancer cells present in the lung of an individual. Bronchitis is a disease that is caused by the Bronchi cells in the Bronchial tube.
  2. Lung cancer can spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can spread to other organs such as kidneys and the liver. Bronchitis can only affect the bronchial tubes and not the other organs.
  3. Lung cancer happens in different stages and the possibility of an individual surviving it is less. Whereas Bronchitis is mostly curable and the individual can survive it.
  4. Lung Cancer can have the symptoms of coughing which have blood, wheezing, difficulty in chewing food. Bronchitis can have the symptoms of coughing with phlegm.
  5. Lung cancer is curable through radiation, chemotherapy and medication. Bronchitis is curable through medications
Difference Between Lung Cancer and Bronchitis
  1. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.pathol.1.110304.100103
  2. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmcp061493
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