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What does a lung with cancer look like?

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Quick Answer

A lung with cancer may appear black and irregularly shaped if it has been damaged by smoking. A cancerous lung may also display abnormal cells, tissues or masses. Cancer in the lung can appear as a mass such as a tumor, nodule, lesion or spot on diagnostic images, explains Healthline.

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Full Answer

A lung with non-small lung cancer may display irregular cells in the bronchi of the lungs when dissected and then examined physically, states Healthline. A lung tissue biopsy may also be taken to obtain a cell sample for use in a microscopic analysis. This sample may be used to definitively determine the presence of cancer.

Lung cancer tumors can occur in the bronchi and bronchioles of the lungs. These tumors are generally not caused by smoking and don’t usually spread to other parts of the body, explains Healthline. Additionally, these tumors grow slower in comparison to other types of lung cancers.

A chest X-ray of a cancerous lung generally shows a visible nodule or mass. The mass appears as a white spot on the lungs, while the surrounding lung looks black. A CT scan showing the cross sectional view of a lung with cancer shows lesions. Lesions are small abnormal areas of the lung that are potentially cancerous, states Healthline.

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