Lung Cancer Awareness Month – November 2014


He ignored everything, the cool breeze that ruffled his hair, the packed stadium with screaming spectators, all on their feet his teammates shouting and concentrated on just one thing – smacking the ball right out for a beautifully crafter six. He did just that, got a 77 off 35 balls at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot, conquering his game like he conquered his body and spirit in a fight against cancer!

Yes, the person I am speaking of is none other than one of India’s greatest cricketers – Yuvraj Singh. Yuvraj is the winner of one of India’s highest civilian awards – The Padma Shri in 2014 and India’s second highest sporting award – Arjuna Award in 2012.

Yuvraj, idolized Lance Armstron and his fight against Serinoma Cancer, which is a form of Lung Cancer. He watched from afar and then took strength to fight his own battle against Lung Cancer. In the end, not only did Yuvraj win the battle against cancer but also he became a crusader to educate people about the disease.

Yuvraj wrote his experiences in what is now a best seller – The Test of My Life. Here he describes his life after diagnosis, hard battles against the disease, small victories and the love & support he received.

Sharp Rise in Lung Cancer Haunts the Nation

India as a country definitely requires many more such crusaders. A sharp rise in Lung Cancer haunts the nation. This disease, already not easy to diagnose become profoundly confused with more commonly occurring diseases like Asthama or Tuberculosis. It attacks everyone, from those who abuse their body with an unhealthy lifestyle or with a history of smoking and to those who don’t.

Why Lung Cancer is On the Rise

This is the moment to pause and consider few facts as to why Lung Cancer is on rise in our country like never before. We have 120 million smokers in the country. According to the World Health Organization, this makes India home to 12% of the world’s smoking population. As a developing country, there’s been rise in industrialization and infrastructure that resulted in a massive amount of air pollution in terms of Suspended Particle Matter (SPM). In fact, just recently, New Delhi became the most polluted city in the world, taking the place from Tokyo, Japan in the segment of highest (SPM).

There are alarming studies being conducted at various places of the country and especially at parts of the country where cancer rate is highest in the world. The excessive use of tobacco, over usage of insecticides, rise in the pollution levels and industrial wastes etc. forecasts that yet even bigger tsunami of the century is yet to come in the form of Lung Cancer. So the question remains, are we really equipped to face this disaster, which can almost be forecast? The answer which all of us are still trying to discover!

Learn from the Experiences of Lung Cancer Survivors

All of us have seen Yuvraj making a comeback. We cheered with him and got strength for his victory. We did the same when we saw the pictures of Bollywood Actress Manisha Koirala suffering from cancer. We rejoiced in her recovery and wished her the best. The question is, as a surgeon I ask you, did you remember? Did you learn from their experiences? Or are you reading this article with a cigarette dangling from your mouth?

Lung Cancer Awareness Month – November 2014

November is Lung Cancer awareness month. Yet this little note on lung cancer is for you – to keep in mind every day of every month of the year for the rest of your life. Celebrated across the world, this month is dedicated to making people mindful of the disease, its causes, symptoms, prevention and cure.

Cancer – What are we Scared of

The word CANCER is something which always scares us – but give it a second thought “what are we scared of ?” There’s only one universal answer – we are scared of the unknown. So here let’s make an attempt to know cancer, specifically LUNG CANCER to conquer the scary disease and salute good health.

We are somehow obsessed with our heart – we take every possible care to make sure our heart is healthy but at the same time we treat our lungs with utter negligence. Think …. won’t the result be the same “Failure of either one causes the end of our!”

Estimated Lung Cancer Deaths by 2014

Estimated Lung Cancer Deaths by 2014

Facts about Lung Cancer

  • Lung Cancer kills more people than colon, breast and prostate cancer combined?
  • Though lung cancer has become the leading cause of cancer deaths across the globe it is the negligibly funded by governments.
  • Lung cancer accounts for approximately 18% of the deaths caused by all cancers combined together. (7.6 million people die annually due to various forms of cancer while 1.37 million alone is due to lung cancer).
  • Common myth is lung cancer happens only to smokers. Irrespectively people have been diagnosed with stage 4 of lung cancer at the age of 26.
  • Lung cancer can remain dormant for up to 20 years before making an appearance.

Common Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer is mostly misdiagnosed as Ashtma or Tuberculosis and therefore people are not treated correctly at the time when needed the most. Like any other disease Lung Cancer survival and cure depends upon early detection and diagnosis. In case of Lung Cancer almost 85% of the cases are not diagnosed/ misdiagnosed at an early stage, hence the very low survival rate. Therefore it is imperative to watch for symptoms, which include:

Few most common lung cancer symptoms are:

  • Cough that has persisted for 3 weeks or more
  • Coughing up blood, frequently or less frequently.
  • Persistent chest infection with pain in chest and or shoulders
  • Shortness of breath and tiredness
  • Voice Changes
  • Weight and or appetite loss
Estimated percentage of causes for lung cancer

Estimated percentage of causes for lung cancer

Causes of Lung Cancer

  • SMOKING is the number 01 cause of lung cancer and attributes to 90 % of total.
  • Exposure to Radon. Radon is an odorless/tasteless/colorless gas – a byproduct of uranium decay. It occurs naturally in soil & rocks.
  • Caused by occupational exposure to uranium, coke and asbestos. Coke is used as fuel in lots of foundries and blast furnace.
  • Outdoor air pollution attributes to 1-2% of lung cancer cases.

Survival Rate of Lung Cancer

Due to misdiagnosis and the ability of the disease to lie dormant and manifest itself at an advanced stage is what makes the survival rate so low.

50% people with lung cancer die within one year of being diagnosed and only 16.6% of the remaining 50% complete 5 years after being diagnosed.

On the contrary 64.2% of colon cancer patients, 89.2% of breast cancer patients and 99.2% prostrate cancer patients live more than 5 years after being diagnosed.

Importance of Lung Cancer Awareness

A stitch in time saves nine – this is as true for lung cancer as it is for any walk of life.

People only seek information about a disease once they, or someone they love, are affected by it. Once this happens, the amount of information they receive is staggering. Coupled with the emotional trauma they find this information too much to take in.

In India, more than 90,000 men and 79,000 women are diagnosed each year with cancer of the lungs and bronchi. It is also interesting to note that in India, the number of Lung Cancer incidences seen in men is decreasing while those in women is increasing.

Thus it is important for people to educate themselves beforehand about LUNG CANCER.

What it is, causes, stages, chances of survival and most importantly treatment. The most widely heard complaint from Lung Cancer patients is ‘If only we knew smoking would do this to us, we would have never smoked”.

THIS IS BY FAR THE LAMEST EXCUSE – even your 2 year old knows SMOKING KILLS!!!!!

Why Lung Cancer Awareness

Awareness helps people know that they could avoid not only Lung Cancer but other diseases, by staying healthy.

  • Quit Smoking
  • Practice Yoga/exercise regularly
  • Add green vegetables to your diet
  • Use every opportunity to walk – good for your heart and lungs – SAVE HEALTH, SAVE ENERGY – HEALTHY YOU, HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT.
  • Avoid firecrackers, construction site.
  • If in polluted areas wear masks
  • Get regular health check-ups and consult your doctor if problems persist.

LET’S TAKE A PLEDGE TODAY

Pledge to join the fight against lung cancer.

Pledge to join the fight against Lung Cancer

To take care of our lungs, appreciate the simple pleasure of breathing, understand the pitfalls of Lung Cancer, incorporate good practices and impart the same to our loved ones.

 

Spread the Awareness, Like us on our Facebook page.


Dr Arvind Kuamr


Comments for “Lung Cancer Awareness Month – November 2014”

  1. Reply

    Thaq pl post further advice. My wife s suffering

    somanath,
  2. Reply

    Dear sir

    Have a good day .i want to ask for my mother lungs infection ,my mother have the poblem of shortness breath ,and found the fluid in her lungs .which is drain through the procedure guided altra sound .so please tell me advice for her .she is under treatment of well known doctor but some time.her problem of shortness breathing raise for all night or 8 to 10 hours.we give her britnil tablet half .when got the problem in breathing,and given her Arinec fort tablet ,i am from pakistan please send me the reply and suggestion with home treatment .with best regard .thanking you.

    mirza waseem baig,
  3. Reply

    There can be so many factors responsible for shortness of breath. Please mail us at “irs.sgrh@gmail.com” with the details of treatment your mother is undergoing and what is diagnosis. We will try to do the best possible for your mother.

    drarvind,
  4. Reply

    Iam a 20+ figs a day smoker, I have been struggling to quit for almost 3years with no success, tried gums, patch & even cold turkey, please advise a practical method. Sincerely hoping for your help.

    Maran karna,

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