A multivariable analysis was performed of all patients registered and confirmed to have bronchoalveolar cell carcinoma of the lung in the Tumor Registry of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital between 1969 and 1983. These 122 patients were reviewed for age, sex, smoking history, occupational exposure, symptoms, radiographic findings, methods of diagnosis, clinical and pathologic staging, methods of treatment, survival, and complications of treatment. No correlation could be found in this series between a patient's age, sex, smoking history, or occupational exposure and the incidence or outcome of the disease. Seventy-one of the 122 patients in this series were asymptomatic, and the carcinoma was discovered in them by routine chest roentgenogram. Of these asymptomatic patients, 50 were seen with pathologic stage I disease. Of the 51 symptomatic patients, 32 (65%) were seen with stage IIIm0 or IIIm1 disease. Despite medical evaluations, 77% of the T1 and T2 lesions required thoracotomy for diagnosis. The overall five-year survival rate was 42.3%, ranging from 75% for those with stage I disease to 8.7% for those with stage IIIm1 disease.