Kuwait marked the World Health Organization (WHO) and Union for International Cancer Control's (UICC) 'World Cancer Day' on 4 February as part of the global rally against the deadly ailment. 'World Cancer Day' 2015 took a positive and proactive approach to the fight against cancer by highlighting that solutions do exist across the continuum of cancer, and that they are within reach. As part of the awareness campaign, Dr. Lingaiah Miryala, an Internist from the Al Nahil International Clinic of Shifa Al Jazeera Medical Group released an advisory on the topic of Lung Cancer, which is one of the leading causes of cancer death in both men and women in developed countries.
Lung cancer forms in tissues of the lung, usually in the cells lining air passages. The two main types are small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. These types are diagnosed based on how the cells look under a microscope.
Small cell: The cells of small cell lung cancer look small under a microscope. About 1 of every 8 people with lung cancer has small cell lung cancer.
Non-small cell: The cells of non-small cell lung cancer are larger than the cells of small cell lung cancer. Most (about 7 of every 8) people diagnosed with lung cancer have non-small cell lung cancer. It does not grow and spread as fast as small cell lung cancer, and it is treated differently.
Smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, especially non-small cell lung cancer. Exposure to secondhand smoke and environmental exposures, such as radon and workplace toxins, also increase your risk.
The earlier in life a person starts smoking, the more often a person smokes, and the more years a person smokes, the greater the risk of lung cancer. If a person has stopped smoking, the risk becomes lower as the years pass.
When smoking is combined with other risk factors — such as secondhand smoke, asbestos and arsenic exposure, and air pollution — the risk of lung cancer is increased. A family history of cancer can also be a risk factor for lung cancer.
How to Reduce Lung Cancer Risks
You need to make several attempts and as much effort as possible for reducing risk of lung cancer. Lung cancer is considered as the deadliest cancer form, which has claimed more lives than any other cancer form. Besides being most fatal, the commonest cancer form is also the most preventable. Without being operated, the malady remains incurable and survival rate of the affected floats around 4 to 5 years.
Say No to Smoking: Giving up your smoking habit gives you best survival chance against lung cancer. Besides lung cancer risk reduction, quitting smoking has other benefits too, including lowered risk of heart disease and lower chances of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases like emphysema.
Be wary of External Environment: Inhaling smoke is equally harmful for lung cancer condition. If you are eating outside, seek restaurants with a ‘no smoking’ policy. Moreover, if a friend of yours or a family member smokes, politely ask him to do it outdoors for everyone’s good.
Healthy Food Options: Choose your food options wisely so that health remains attuned. Fresh fruits and green vegetables are considered best for healthy eating. These provide essential vitamins and antioxidants that enable us to keep away from various cancer forms.
Among other recommendations for healthy eating are:
Abstaining from vitamin supplements like beta carotene
Whole grain foods
Restricting red and processed meat
Limiting salt/sugar in dishes and drinks
Understanding Signs and Symptoms: Early diagnosis and treatment provides you with the best possible chance of combatting lung cancer. Signs like chronic cough, blood in your sputum, fatigue and wheezing talk should be consulted with an expert immediately.
Regular Health Check-up: Consistent check-ups will help you keep several health complications at bay. If you are habitual to smoking, include chest x-ray in the check-up. Lung cancer usually hit individuals of over the age of 60 years, but with smoking the condition becomes inevitable.
Dr. Lingaiah Miryala
Al Nahil International Clinic
Shifa Al Jazeera Medical Group