Lung Cancer: How to prevent no.1 killer cancer

The Problem: Present Scenario Lung cancer is most common cause of cancer related deaths, and it is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer worldwide with approximately 22 lakh new cases and 17.9 lakh deaths in 2020. Lung cancer is no 1 cause of cancer mortality, yet it is largely possible to prevent and eradicate lung cancer. Can We do That? Contributing factors: Smoking is by far the leading cause of lung cancer, accounting for approximately 80% to 90% of cases. There is 20-fold increase in lung cancer risk in smokers compared to nonsmokers. Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), also known as second-hand smoking: The risk for lung cancer is increased in nonsmokers who live with smokers, and it has been estimated that approximately 17% of lung cancers among never-smokers may be attributed to high levels of ETS during childhood and adolescence. Radon gas/ Indoor air pollution: Do you know that gas inside your home can be a risk factor for lung cancer development. Western data suggests Radon Gas as second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is a gas formed from decaying of soil. It is present in buildings and is a contributor of indoor air pollution. Pollution: In India we don’t have data on radon indoor pollution, but we have an increasing and rising problem of Air Pollution. PM 2.5 is particulate matter in environmental air less than 2.5 micrometer. PM 2.5 excess can promote lung cancer. Sources includes construction sites, unpaved roads, fields fires, pollutants emitted from thermal power plants, industries and automobiles.             Pollution is contributor of 1 in 10 cases of lung cancer.  air pollution includes combustion coal and wood for heating and cooking. Occupations with exposure to asbestos. Exposure to high doses of ionizing radiation. Prevention: What can we do? We have understood that most causes of lung cancer are related to the environment around us, so it is possible to decrease these causes and it requires effort at Individual, Society and National level.  Avoid tobacco in any form, smoking/ chewing gutka/ hukka. Take every step to decrease air pollution. Increase green cover. Seal the cracks in building, open windows for cross ventilation, use indoor plants and air purifiers when required. Screening- Low Dose CT scan: Despite promising result and easy availability; acceptance for screening of lung cancer is very low around 2%. Early dtection is best cure and best prevention when it is in regard to cancer.                         “Till we regularize policy for tobacco, till we regularize policies for construction and building, till we regularize policies for pollution, its not possible to eradicate lung cancer” In short,                           “ When a human first think that his action is not harming mother earth. When he thinks that his actions are not harming another human, only then it is possible to eliminate this fatal disease.” To Know more about Lung Cancer: Click here

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