Lung cancer turning into epidemic: Oncologists

Lung cancer turning into epidemic: Oncologists

Smoking is the single biggest cause for lung cancer. Exposure to passive smoking is no exception.

People exposed to all kinds of emission --including vehicle exhaust and fumes emitted from industries --are at risk, said Dr Niti Raizada, Consultant Medical Oncologist and Hemato-oncologist, Vikram Hospital.

She said, exposure to carcinogenic toxins like asbestos and radon; also radiation and air pollutants are other causes for lung cancer. Women's exposure to charcoal smoke (while cooking) was also a cause for lung cancer.

“Only 15% of cases of lung cancer are curable at the time of diagnosis. Patients with lung cancer present themselves at a much later stage than other cancers, due to the nature of the disease. If lung cancer is detected by chest X-ray, it is already 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.

Dr Suraj Manjunath, consultant Onco-surgeon at the hospital said “Lung cancer has one of the highest morbidity and mortality among all cancers. It accounts for 14.5% of all cancers in men and 8.4% in women globally. It is a leading cause of cancer death in men worldwide at 22%, which means that one in five of all cancer deaths in men occur due to lung cancer. Lung cancer accounts for 5.9% of all new cancer cases diagnosed in India (both sex combined), while mortality is 8.82% of all cancers combined.”

November is 'lung cancer awareness month'. 

Doctors at the hospital stressed the need for early screening, avoiding cancer-causing environments, and quitting smoking.