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6 months ago
World Cancer Day: 5 key facts about lung cancer in India

An unhealthy lifestyle involving excessive smoking and drinking, lack of physical exercise, obesity, and a poor diet are the main reasons for the rising number of cancer cases in India. According to the WHO, cancer cases are expected to rise by about 70% over the next two decades globally. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, India is likely to have 17.3 lakh new cancer cases and 8.8 lakh deaths due to cancer by 2020. And lung cancer is one of the common types of cancer in Indians. Did you know that in India, lung cancer is ranked second among males and sixth among females? Dr Vikas Maurya, Sr. Consultant & Head, Department of Pulmonology & Sleep Disorders, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh shares few interesting facts on lung cancer. Here are few unusual signs of lung cancer you must be aware of!

#1. Smoking tobacco remains the single most important risk factor (80—90%) when it comes to developing lung cancer.

#2. The overall estimated lung cancer mortality in India in 2012 was 63,759, making it the third most common cause of cancer-related mortality in India after breast and cervical cancer.

#3. Statistics reveal that 15% of patients diagnosed with lung cancer have no history of tobacco use. This could be because of exposure to secondhand smoke, asbestos exposure, air pollution (outdoor and indoor), exposure to radon gas, diesel exhaust fumes or a genetic predisposition. Here’s more on common causes of lung cancer in non-smokers.

#4. 80% of lung cancer patients in India are diagnosed at an advanced stage and cannot avail surgical intervention.

#5. 40% of patients with lung cancer are less than 50 years of age and 11% are less than 40 years of age. Among the younger patients, lung cancer is commonly misdiagnosed as tuberculosis. Also read lung cancer survival: 6 things that influence life expectancy post-diagnosis and treatment.

The most common cancers are lung, liver, colorectal, stomach and breast. Hepatitis and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) are responsible for up to 25% of cancer cases in low and middle-income countries. Late-stage presentation and inaccessible diagnosis and treatment are common. Between 30—50% of cancers can currently be prevented. This can be accomplished by avoiding risk factors and implementing existing evidence-based prevention strategies.

Image Source: Shutterstock

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