Malignant tracheal tumors
- James R Jett, MD
James R Jett, MD
- Section Editor — Lung Cancer
- Professor of Medicine Emeritus
- National Jewish Health
- Section Editors
- Bruce E Brockstein, MD
Bruce E Brockstein, MD
- Section Editor — Cancer of the Head and Neck
- Clinical Professor of Medicine
- University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
- Steven E Schild, MD
Steven E Schild, MD
- Section Editor — Radiation Therapy
- Professor of Radiation Oncology
- Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
- Eric Vallières, MD, FRCSC
Eric Vallières, MD, FRCSC
- Surgical Director of the Lung Cancer Program
- Swedish Cancer Institute
The epidemiology, pathology, clinical presentation, treatment, and prognosis of malignant primary tracheal tumors will be reviewed here.
Depending upon histology and location, tracheal tumors may overlap with primary lung cancers or head and neck lesions; these are discussed separately.
Primary tracheal tumors are rare. Population-based studies from tumor registries in Finland, Denmark, Netherlands, and England report annual incidence rates of tracheal cancer of approximately 0.1 per 100,000 per year, with tracheal cancers accounting for less than one-half of 1 percent of all malignant tumors [1-4]. The largest reported series comes from a Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) analysis of 578 cases of primary tracheal carcinoma identified over a 31-year period . In that series, the median age was 63 years, and 56 percent of patients were male. In other series, the mean age at presentation was approximately 60 to 65 years, and 60 to 70 percent of cases occurred in males [1-4].
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