Lung cancer: Know the things that matter
By IANS | Published: August 2, 2021 01:06 PM2021-08-02T13:06:04+5:302021-08-02T13:15:08+5:30
New Delhi, Aug 2 Lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. In India, alone, ...
New Delhi, Aug 2 Lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. In India, alone, lung cancer accounts for a majority cancer burden, with 1 in 68 males falling victim to it. Moreover, several sources state that around 80 per cent of lung cancers are diagnosed at an advanced stage. Having said that, medical science and the healthcare fraternity has done a lot of progress to reduce the burden of lung cancer and to save as many lives as possible.
There has been a rapid and exponential development in the modalities to manage lung cancer. Right from tools to augment early diagnosis, to targeted chemotherapies, to minimally invasive procedures to treat cancer, healthcare today has a plethora of intervention that can help patients with lung cancer.
But smoking remains the catalyst of higher risk of cancer and the leading contributors to lung cancer in India. So, the question is how do we tackle the burden if India's population continues to smoke death?
Quitting can completely reduce the risk multifold. But if you are already a smoker, how does one go about detecting lung cancer?
EARLY DIAGNOSIS OF LUNG CANCER IS INSTRUMENTAL: Smoking is gauged with the number of packets a person smokes per day, for the number of years smoked. In India, as the number of cigarettes per packet are less, a different tool like 'smoking index' is estimated. A low dose CT scan of the lungs is approved for screening of lung cancer in the west, as it has shown to improve survival by detecting the cancer early. In India, people with high smoking index can discuss with their healthcare providers to see if they qualify for a screening CT scan. People suffering from COPD due to smoking are at higher risk and can discuss the timing and need for getting a CT scan for lung cancer screening. Surgery or in some cases Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy
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