Cigarette Smoke Attacks Your Lungs

Lung cancer was once considered a rare type of cancer, but not anymore. If you are above the age of 45 years and have been an active smoker for the last 20 years, then you must get yourself screened for lung cancer on a yearly basis. Cigarette smoking increases a person’s chance of getting lung cancer by 15 to 30 times. Smokers are more likely to die from lung cancer than people who do not smoke.

Unfortunately, in India lung cancer is most often misdiagnosed as tuberculosis, which makes timely treatment even more challenging. It is also important to realise that lung cancer does not spare anyone and we have found lung cancer in very young smokers too, re-emphasising the importance of screening in high risk groups.

According to GOLOBOCAN in India, 76599 new cases of lung cancer were reported in 2015, which is projected to rise to 88,831 new cases annually by the year 2020. In India, 87% of male and 85% of female patients with lung cancer have a history of active tobacco smoking.

Unfortunately, most of the patients come for lung cancer treatment at a very advanced and critical stage. Lung cancer does not exhibit any symptoms in the initial stages. This is why early screening and diagnosis is extremely important to thwart disease progression. Lung cancer when diagnosed in advanced stages, most often turns fatal as it spreads rapidly. Screening has been the only way till now which reduces the mortality from lung cancer.

Lung cancer can be diagnosed with a routine CT scan, X-ray of the chest cavity or sputum cytology. Of these, only low-dose spiral/helical CT scan have been recommended for lung cancer screening among high-risk patients. Early diagnosis is very critical to successful treatment of lung cancer.

Leave a Reply