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Bronchioloalveolar Carcinoma (BAC)

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Called “the Masquerader” of cancers, Bronchioloalveolar Carcinoma (BAC) is one of the most rare forms of lung cancer. BAC was first identified and defined as it is own subtype of lung cancer by Dr. Averill Liebow in 1960 (West). Accounting for 2%-14% of all lung cancers, less is known about this form of cancer than any other type of non-small cell lung cancers (Eldridge). Further detail of the BAC, the cause, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of BAC will be expounded on in the passages to follow.
BAC is a subtype of non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) (West). BAC is one of the few lung cancers not caused by smoking, but rather by a cell mutation caused by the Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF). This occurs when too much of the protein, which binds onto cells telling them how much to grow and reproduce, exists causing the cells to grow and reproduce excessively. This, along with several other unknown factors, can lead to several types of lung cancer, including BAC. It can appear as a single spot in the periphery of the lungs, or as scattered spots throughout the lungs. BAC develops in either the tissue dividing the alveoli or in the airways in the outer regions of the lung (Eldridge). Under a microscope, the alveolar walls are thickened and described as lepidic, meaning “scale-like” (West).
“BAC qualification: Tumor must not show any evidence of infiltration of the stroma or adjacent lung parenchyma or the pleura, or lymphatic spread to lymph nodes. Tumors showing the characteristic lepidic growth pattern of BAC but that also show, even if focally, infiltration of either the lung parenchyma or the pleura are currently categorized as well differentiated adenocarcinomas with a “bronchioloalveolar growth pattern” (Roy).
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