Andhra Pradesh

Avoid smoking, breathe easy

Braving the winter chill, a large group of people, standing in a row along the Prakasam Barrage, held placards that had thought-provoking messages on the need to prevent lung cancer.

November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month. The Hindu FIC, in collaboration with the Healthcare Global (HCG) Cancer Centre, organised an awareness programme on lung cancer on Friday. As part of the initiative, a human chain was formed along the barrage that became a cynosure of all eyes. The passers-by paused, some of them partaking of the programme till the end.

“Breathing is important for survival and the main function of our lungs is to help oxygen from the air we breathe enter the red blood cells in the body. It is therefore important to keep our lungs in healthy condition,” said Krishna District Collector A. Md. Imtiaz, addressing the gathering.

Speaking after formally opening a giant size plant structure in the pyramid-shaped lungs with the words ‘Let's clear the air’ on it, he said the most important thing one could do to prevent lung cancer was to avoid smoking, or quit if one was habituated. “Smoking can cause cancer and then block your body from fighting it. A majority of lung cancers are caused by smoking cigarettes,” he pointed out, stating that though treatments were getting better, the disease continued to kill more people than any other type of cancer. He urged people to avoid tobacco products and instead focus on leading a healthy lifestyle.

‘Deadly disease’

M. Gopichand, Medical Director of HCG Cancer Centre, Vijayawada, said lung cancer was a deadly disease and was the most common type of cancer. He said in India, around one lakh patients were diagnosed every year with lung cancer out of which around 70,000 people died every year.

Emphasising the need to take people away from the vice of smoking, he said 90 % of the lung cancer cases were the result of smoking habits and sometimes due to pollution. “Around 3 % of lung cancer is due to passive smoking or second hand smoking. Important measures for prevention of lung cancer are to stop smoking, avoid second hand smoking and avoid exposure of carcinogens at work,” he said.

Ambedkar Open University (AP) Officer on Special Duty Velaga Joshi, HCG Cancer Centre, Vijayawada chapter's assistant vice-president (business development) Sridhar Muni and cluster Chief Operating Officer Raghuram were also present.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 6:14:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/avoid-smoking-breathe-easy/article33195514.ece

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