Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Large Cell Cancer of the Lung Anatomy

To better understand large cell carcinoma of the lung, it helps to understand the anatomy of the lungs.

Inside the chest, the windpipe, or trachea, divides into two smaller tubes: the right bronchus and the left bronchus. The right bronchus enters the right lung and the left bronchus enters the left lung. The right bronchus and left bronchus branch into smaller and smaller tubes.

The smallest tubes, called bronchioles, end in tiny air sacs, called alveoli. Blood flows very close to the walls of the alveoli. Oxygen and carbon dioxide pass between the air and the bloodstream through the wall of the alveoli.

Anatomy examples:

  • The lung and airways
  • The bronchioles and alveoli
  • The lungs
  • Pulmonary vessels

Last Updated: Nov 4, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Large Cell Cancer of the Lung References
  1. Collins LG, Haines C, Perkel R, Enck RE. Lung cancer: diagnosis and management. Am Fam Physician. 2007 Jan 1;75(1):56-63. [17225705]
  2. Fernandez FG, Battafarano RJ. Large-cell neuroendocrine carcinoma of the lung. Cancer Control. 2006 Oct;13(4):270-5. [17075564]
  3. Iyoda A, Hiroshima K, Nakatani Y, Fujisawa T. Pulmonary large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma: its place in the spectrum of pulmonary carcinoma. Ann Thorac Surg. 2007 Aug;84(2):702-7. [17643676]
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