- Every November 17 marks the International Day of the Fight Against Lung Cancer.
- Worldwide, it is the main cause of death from tumors and surpasses others such as breast, colon and prostate cancer.
- Most people diagnosed with this tumor are between the ages of 45 and 70.
Lung cancer is a more common disease than you might think, even among non-smokers. It is also the main cause of death by tumor in the world and Mexico is no exception. In fact, 90% of the two million people who suffered from the disease worldwide in 2020 died. While in Mexico, that same year, 7,811 new cases were registered and 6,733 were fatal.
This disease develops by various changes within the cells of the lung. Factors as diverse as genetic predisposition, pollution, alcohol, smoking increase the probability of developing this type of cancer.
Not all patients are smokers
A person who smokes more than 20 cigarettes a day has a 20 to 30 times higher risk of developing lung cancer than a non-smoker. Passive smokers are also a population that has a high risk of contracting it, since the smoke exhaled by smokers contains carcinogenic particles and it is estimated that their risk of suffering from cancer of any type increases between 15% and 25%.
Unfortunately, non-smokers are also at great risk. It is estimated that worldwide up to 25% of cases of all types of lung cancer occur among non-smokers.
“Unfortunately, cancer of this type is a silent disease, since the symptoms do not appear in most cases until the disease is very advanced. It is estimated that more than half of the patients present advanced disease and only a quarter of asymptomatic patients are detected early, which partly explains their high lethality”, said Diego Apreza, Oncology Medical Manager for Takeda. Mexico.
It is also a disease that is strongly associated with smoking, which is why non-smokers tend to believe that they are exempt from contracting the disease, although this is not the case. For this reason, it is increasingly important to be able to detect the early symptoms of the disease, among which are: constant coughing, coughing up blood, loss of appetite, weight loss, shortness of breath, and chest pain.
Most people diagnosed with lung cancer they are between 45 and 70 years old, and it is the main cause of all cancer deaths, with 25%, surpassing colon, breast and prostate cancer combined.
Treatments available to patients
Fortunately, in recent years, there have been important changes in its diagnosis and treatment. At present, the patient is studied in greater depth and, thanks to this, it is possible to know if there are genetic alterations and thus give the indicated treatment. In general, the treatment can be approached through different methods such as: surgery, radiofrequency, chemotherapy, targeted drugs, immunotherapy and palliative procedures.
In order to reduce the large number of cases that are currently reported, it is essential to continue reporting the symptoms of the disease, continue educating about its consequences, and have the appropriate treatments available.
under the International Day to Fight Lung Cancer, which is commemorated every year on November 17, it becomes essential to remember the consequences of lung cancer. It should also be known that it is not an exclusive disease of smokers, whether they are active or passive, as well as knowing the specific treatments that exist in order to increase their probability of success.
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