FEDERAL CAPITAL (ANDIGItala) Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in the world of cancer and also in our country, where it accounts for 15% of the deaths caused by cancer in the general population, in excess of colon and cervical cancer, and is exceeded only in women with breast cancer.
This high figure is due to the fact that in most cases it is diagnosed at a progressive stage, as only 20% of cases are detected at an early stage with therapeutic treatment options.
Who can develop it?
This disease affects more men and large smokers; but in recent years we have experienced a progressive change in the peculiarities of patients.
Although male smokers still represent the majority of patients, the proportion of women suffering from lung cancer is increasing and many of them are non-smokers and younger.
In any case, this type of cancer is still the main cause of smoking, but in non-smokers in at least 25% of cases, factors such as exposure to passive smoking on the environment, wood fumes, asbestos and certain oncogenic viruses occur. Patients over the age of 55 years, smokers or secondarily exposed to tobacco smoke or combustion of organic compounds are considered to be at greater risk for lung cancer. Those with other cancers are people with cancer-related family members and chronic lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) carriers increase the risk of lung cancer.
What are the symptoms and how is it diagnosed?
In cases of clinical manifestations, it causes coughing, expectoration with blood, shortness of breath and chest pain. It can be detected as an accidental discovery in the form of a chest x-ray or tomography in the form of a nodule or pulmonary mass.
To come up with a final diagnosis, a biopsy is required, which is part of the analysis of the part of the affected tissue. This study is performed by a medical pathologist who is responsible for the presence of malignant cells in the sample and, if so, determine which cancer affects the patient. This step is crucial for determining the prognosis and treatment choices.
Between the determinations made by the pathology laboratory is the identification of molecular markers, which are tests that seek for the presence of some genes or proteins that have been altered in cancer cells that participate in the oncogeneic mechanism, and this may be the goal of therapy, especially in patients with disease progression.
In recent years, there has been a greater understanding of the mechanisms of the disease, as well as its genetic and molecular basis, which has helped professionals to better characterize each case and thus adapt each patient's treatment. It is a heterogeneous disease, that is, patients in clinical manifestations may encounter differences in genetic profiles, so they react differently from the available treatment methods.
The best strategy to reduce the incidence of lung cancer is to stop smoking. Those over the age of 55 who have smoked are at greater risk of lung cancer, so it is highly recommended that you consult a pneumonia specialist for annual testing and be able to quickly diagnose.
Recommended: Doctor Iris D. Boyer Navarro (MN 118839)
Co-ordinator of the Association of Argentinian Respiratory Devices / Pneumontology Specialist, Coordinator of the Thoracic Oncology Department. Oncology Institute Angela Rofo. Buenos Aires University.