Tamil Nadu

On World Lung Cancer Day, expert advises awareness on risk factors

Pulmonologists are calling to attention the risk factors for lung cancer given the spike in the number of cases among smokers.

On the occasion of World Lung Cancer Day, alarm bells were sounded to make people aware of the fact that the risk of lung cancer is 24 to 36 times higher in smokers than in non-smokers.

In India, lung cancer is the most common cancer estimated with the highest number of deaths among all other forms of cancer. Long-term active smoking and long exposure to environmental carcinogens increase the risk of developing lung cancer manifold.

Senior Consultant, Medical Oncology at Meenakshi Mission Hospital & Research Centre, Krishnakumar Rathnam, said, lungs can be damaged even in women who are mostly passive smokers and urged all to be alert to the red signals of affected lungs. The most obvious associated symptoms, according to him, are a persistent cough despite medication, blood in sputum, shortness of breath during exertion, change in voice tonality and excess unintentional loss of weight.

He said most of these symptoms remain dormant for a long time and patients tend to reach a doctor late only after it beocmes painful due to spread in the bones and other organs. In our country where tuberculosis is endemic, it becomes difficult to distinguish the symptoms and that causes further delay in diagnosis and treatment, he said. Timely intervention with a tissue biopsy through bronchoscopy or scan guidance can help in early detection and treatment for disease control.

Dr. Rathnam advised a mandatory low dose CT scan for smokers once a year to detect any early patches of lung cancer. “But there is no better alternative to quit smoking at any stage in life to save yourself from this killer disease,” he added.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 10:20:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/on-world-lung-cancer-day-expert-advises-awareness-on-risk-factors/article35680041.ece

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