Smoking & Lung Cancer

Smoking & Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the result of damage to normal cells in the lung. The body programs cells to die at a certain stage in their life cycle to avoid overgrowth.

Smoking & Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the result of damage to normal cells in the lung. The body programs cells to die at a certain stage in their life cycle to avoid overgrowth. Cancer overrides this instruction, causing cells to grow and multiply when they should not. In lung cancer, this pattern of cell overgrowth occurs in the lungs, which are vital organs for breathing and gas exchange. While anyone can develop lung cancer, cigarette smoking, and exposure to pollution highly increases the risk of developing lung cancer.

Smoking tobacco, both cigarettes and beedis, is the principal risk factor for causation of lung cancer in Indian men; however, among Indian women, the association with smoking is not strong, suggesting that there could be other risk factors besides smoking. Despite numerous advances in recent years in terms of diagnostic methods, molecular changes, and therapeutic interventions, the outcomes of the lung cancer patients remain poor; hence, a better understanding of the risk factors may impact the preventive measures to be implemented at the community level. There is a lack of comprehensive data on lung cancer in India.

Lack of awareness, delayed diagnosis, and unavailability of specialist care is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths in India. Most lung cancer cases in India are detected at advanced stages where chances of survival are grim.

Symptoms of Lung Cancer
Lung cancer symptoms may take years to develop, and often there are no symptoms at all until the later stages of the disease.

The early symptoms of lung cancer are often mistaken and ignored. These include:
• Coughing — A persistent cough that lasts more than two weeks, or coughing up blood
• Chest infection — Infections, like bronchitis or pneumonia
• Trouble breathing — Shortness of breath or wheezing
• Chest discomfort — Chest pain or sudden and severe discomfort
• Loss of appetite — Many illnesses, including cancer, cause changes in appetite
• Weight loss — If you are losing weight for no known reason, inform your doctor
• Fatigue — Excessive tiredness or weakness is a common sign of cancer

Late signs and symptoms of lung cancer:
• Neck and facial swelling
• Aching bones or joints
• Headaches and dizziness
• Lumps in the neck
• Pain and swelling around the chest

If you have any of the above symptoms or if you are at high risk for developing lung cancer, consult a cancer specialist. Early diagnosis of lung cancer can be lifesaving and offers best chances of survival.

Smoking may make cancer treatments less effective

Smoking increases the failure rate of treatments for all types of cancer. And these reasons may play a factor:
• Smoking may cause hypoxia, a lack of oxygen in the body or part of the body. Hypoxia may produce poorer outcomes from radiation therapy and immunotherapy.
• Toxins in tobacco smoke may cause cellular changes that affect how chemotherapy drugs are metabolized, potentially making them more toxic or less effective.
• Smokers may have fewer natural killer cells circulating through the body. These immune cells help limit the spread of damaged cells, including cancer cells, in the body.

Smoking may worsen cancer symptoms or treatment side effects
Smoking is associated with an increased symptom burden during and following treatments for cancer. Cancer patients who smoke have a lower overall quality of life than non-smoking cancer patients. Smoking, cancer and cancer treatments put a tremendous burden on the body, and when combined, they may make it more difficult for the body to recover from treatment.

Some of the same smoking-related health issues that increase cancer risk—cellular changes, exposure to toxins and inflammation—may also make it more difficult to manage treatment side effects.

“ A higher symptom burden can lead to interruptions in treatment, reductions in dosages, and delays in therapy,” the researchers wrote. “Treatment interruptions and dosage reduction can, in turn, compromise treatment efficacy, resulting in lower survival rates.”

Smoking also suppresses the immune system, which may slow healing from surgery or skin issues caused by radiation therapy.

Smoking may increase the risk of a recurrence or secondary cancer
One myth worth busting: Once you get cancer from smoking, you can’t get another cancer. The link between lung cancer and smoking is well documented. But smoking also increases the risk of many cancers, including head and neck cancer and bladder cancer. That means your risk of developing bladder cancer from smoking, for instance, may not decrease because you’ve been diagnosed with lung cancer or throat cancer.

Time to quit !!

Lung Cancer care at Geetanjali Medical College & Hospital

Are you showing any symptoms of lung cancer? Meet our highly trained and experienced oncologists for an expert opinion and world-class Lung Cancer treatment in Udaipur. Stated as the best hospital in Udaipur, our centre for Cancer is equipped with high-end technologies that provide excellent outcomes. 50 percent of surgeries for lung cancer at GMCH are done using Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS). This is a keyhole surgery that reduces postoperative pain, avoids scars, reduces hospital stay, and helps in fast recovery.

Our Lung cancer experts use state-of-the-art technology such as:
• Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery for lung resection aiding early recovery
• Robot-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery for early cancer
• Lung Sparing surgery (including Sleeve Lobectomy)
• Mediastinoscopy for staging
• Endobronchial Ultrasonography (EBUS)
• Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)

If you or a loved one need help for diagnosis, or treatment of lung cancer, consult a specialist at Geetanjali Medical College & Hospital.

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