Breath of Hope: Lung Cancer Awareness - Things you need to know

by Dr. Sunil Kumar K

Greetings, readers! Today, let's delve into a crucial topic - Lung Cancer, discussed by Dr. Sunil Kumar K, lead and senior consultant interventional pulmonologist and lung transplant physician at Aster CMI Hospital, Bangalore.

Understanding the Global Impact:

Lung cancer stands as the most prevalent cancer worldwide, taking a significant toll on lives. In India alone, it constitutes over 6% of all cancers, contributing to nearly 8% of cancer-related deaths. In the past year, 1.1 million cases were diagnosed, leading to 7.8 lakh fatalities.

Unveiling the Culprits:

The primary risk factor for lung cancer is smoking, along with factors like environmental tobacco exposure, air pollution, and exposure to asbestos or certain chemicals. Chronic pulmonary conditions and genetic factors also play a role.

Diverse Landscape of Lung Cancer:

Histologically, lung cancer is categorized into non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). NSCLC accounts for 80-85%, with adenocarcinoma becoming more prevalent. Screening modalities like low-dose CT scans aim to detect potential cases early.

Navigating the Diagnostic Maze:

Diagnosis involves a meticulous approach. Chest X-rays and CT scans are initial steps, but obtaining tissue through biopsy is crucial. Recent advancements in precise oncology, involving immunohistochemistry and Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS), provide tailored treatment options.

The Staging Saga:

Staging, based on TNM classification, determines the extent of cancer. Stage-wise survival rates vary, emphasizing the importance of early detection.

- Stage I: Localized, with a 77-80% five-year survival.
- Stage II: Local-regional, with a 55-60% survival.
- Stage III: Involving lymph nodes, with a 20-28% survival.
- Stage IV: Distant metastasis, with less than 3% survival.

Precision Oncology: Shaping the Future:

The evolving landscape of lung cancer treatment involves precision oncology. A multidisciplinary team at Aster CMI Hospital, incorporating precision oncology and targeted therapies, leads the charge in providing optimal care.

Looking Ahead:

The future of lung cancer care lies in a tailored approach, guided by immunohistochemistry, NGS, and precision oncology. Regular clinical and radiological follow-ups complement the treatment journey.

In conclusion, Aster CMI Hospital, with its dedicated pulmonology team, stands at the forefront of addressing the complexities of lung cancer. Thank you for joining us on this insightful journey into understanding and combatting lung cancer. Stay informed, stay healthy!