Doctors : Rise in cases of lung cancer due to late diagnosis

Doctors : Rise in cases of lung cancer due to late diagnosis
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On Friday while speaking at an event which was organized in the city as a part of an ongoing lung cancer awareness month, the doctors had pointed out how the late diagnosis which continues to be one of the important reasons for the high number of fatalities that have been associated with the disease

BENGALURU: On Friday while speaking at an event which was organized in the city as a part of an ongoing lung cancer awareness month, the doctors had pointed out how the late diagnosis which continues to be one of the important reasons for the high number of fatalities that have been associated with the disease.

Dr Niti Raizada, a senior consultant of medical oncologist and hemato-oncologist at the Vikram Hospital said that, “ICMR data shows incidence of lung cancer is growing in Bengaluru, which stands third in the country in terms of the number of cases. Smoking is the single largest contributor to lung cancer. Passive smoking, exposure to carcinogenic toxins like asbestos and radon, radiation and air pollutants are the other causes, besides a small percentage of genetic cancer. In addition to smoking, exposure to pollutants like PM 2.5 is a high-risk factor for lung cancer.”

According to Dr Raizada, only 15% of the lung cancer cases are being cured at the time of diagnosis. “Patients come for diagnosis at a much later stage than other cancers due to the nature of the disease. In its early stages, people with lung cancer have no symptoms or show only vague ones. In fact, by the time lung cancer is detected through chest x-rays, it becomes too late for the patient. The only effective method for screening lung cancer in early stages is the low-dose helical lung CT where high-resolution images pick up early lung lesions,” she added.

According to the data that has been gathered by the National Cancer Institute which is located in the US, if one quits the habit of smoking at the age of 30, the risk of contracting smoking-related illnesses is reduced by 90%.

However, quitting smoking at the age of 50 can help in reducing the risk by 50%, the doctors pointed out. “Two out of every three patients with lung cancer are over 65 years old. So, one gets enough time to take steps to avoid this high-mortality disease,” said Dr KS Satish, consultant pulmonologist and chest physician.

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