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Home >Information for Patients > Dictionary Index

Dictionary of Cancer Terms

View in Spanish: Neumonía

Pneumonia (noo-MOH-nyuh)
A severe inflammation of the lungs in which the alveoli (tiny air sacs) are filled with fluid. This may cause a decrease in the amount of oxygen that blood can absorb from air breathed into the lung. Pneumonia is usually caused by infection but may also be caused by radiation therapy, allergy, or irritation of lung tissue by inhaled substances. It may involve part or all of the lungs.



 
 
Source: National Cancer Institute Dictionary of Cancer Terms, available at www.cancer.gov/dictionary.