Early Diagnosis Is The Key To Fighting Lung Cance
Cancer is the second biggest cause of death worldwide. Among them, the second most common type of cancer is lung cancer. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) on lung cancer states, nearly 2.21 million cases were recorded, with 1.80 million deaths in the year 2020 due to lung cancer. With this increased case witnessed, by 2025, India may see a seven-fold rise in lung cancer. One of the main reasons why lung cancer is so deadly is that almost half of the lung cancer is diagnosed when it reaches the 4th stage. This lung cancer spreads to other organs in the 4th stage, and hence mortality rate is also high. So early diagnosis of lung cancer will help in the reduction of mortality rate, and they can be identified in before stages, and there will be chances of better treatment.
"Early detection saves lives."
What Is Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer originates in the lungs and spreads to lymph nodes and other body organs such as the brain. The primary reason for lung cancer is associated with smoking. Non Smokers also get lung cancer due to second-hand smoke that causes damage to the lung tissue. The body will try to repair the damage, but it fails to repair it on continuous exposure and causes lung cancer.
What Are The Types Of Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer is classified according to the microscopic appearance of the tumor cells. . They are broadly classified into 2 types. These two types of lung cancer grow, and spread, and it is treated differently. They are small-cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.
Small cell lung cancer: It comprises about 10-15% of lung cancer. They are usually aggressive and grow more rapidly than other types, and it is strongly associated with smoking cigarettes. This type of cancer usually spreads rapidly to many other sites, and it is often identified after it spreads extensively to other sites.
Non-small cell lung cancer is the common type of lung cancer recorded in about 80% of all cases. There are 3 different cells are found in this type of tumor, which includes
- Adenocarcinomas: They are the most common type of lung cancer, comprising 40%, which also affects nonsmokers and women. They occur in outer peripheral areas of the lungs and spread to the lymph nodes and beyond. It affects multiple sites of the lungs and looks like pneumonia in a chest x-ray. Patients have a better prognosis than other types of lung cancer.
- Squamous cell carcinoma: This type accounts for 25-30% of lung cancer. They occur in the central chest area of the bronchi. It usually spreads within the lungs and extends to the lymph nodes, then it becomes larger, forming a cavity.
- Large cell carcinomas: They are also known as undifferentiated carcinoma, and it is the least common and occurs in 10-15% of all lung cancer. They tend to spread to lymph nodes and distant sites.
Can Lung Cancer Be Diagnosed Early?
Early diagnosis of lung cancer can reduce the death rate, and treatment chances are more if we diagnose earlier. Screening is the procedure used to detect lung cancer in an individual with a high risk of lung cancer. Screening is also performed in a person with no symptoms or history of lung disease. Lung cancer early detection can prevent the spreading of the disease to the progressive stages.
"Prevention is better than cure."
Why Is Screening Important?
Screening is performed to diagnose lung cancer earlier so that you can detect it in earlier stages, and it prevents it from spreading to other organs. Lung cancer screening is recommended for certain individuals who smoke but don't show any signs and symptoms. The American cancer society formulated a few guidelines in 2018 for the screening procedure used to detect lung cancer earlier. These screening guidelines include the following,
- Age group between 50 to 80 years of age with fairly good health.
- People who currently smoke or have quit the habit of smoking in the past 15 years.
- Person with 20 pack-year smoking history, which means (the number of packs of cigarettes per day multiplied by the number of years smoked)
How Does Low-Dose CT Help In Diagnosing Lung Cancer?
In recent days, a test which is known as low-dose CT has been used to diagnose lung cancer. This scan is recommended for individuals with a higher risk of developing lung cancer. Usually, it is advised in patients with a history of smoking and tobacco use for a longer period of time and in people who quit smoking after long-term use. This low-dose CT is used to screen people before the symptoms start. This will help in saving the life of individuals with a higher risk of developing cancer.
Bronchoscopy And Lung Cancer Early Detection
Your doctor may advise getting a bronchoscopy if a CT scan suggests the possibility of a lung tumor. Your doctor can do a bronchoscopy to view the inside of your airways and take a few cells for biopsy. To detect lung cancer, bronchoscopy can be done in three different ways. To diagnose and find central lung cancer, a traditional white light bronchoscopy is done. They are used in the diagnosis of high-degree dysplasia. Premalignant carcinoma and bronchial premalignant lesions are found using autofluorescence bronchoscopy. This bronchoscopy technique is well-liked and considered a reliable screening tool for lung cancer. The third form is the newest one; it is called an endobronchial ultrasound scan (EBUS), and it combines an ultrasound scan with a bronchoscopy. This procedure takes about 90 minutes. It finds out the cancer cells in nearby lymph nodes.
Lung cancer early detection develops more chances for treatment and betterment of life. Detecting individuals with lung cancer earlier can go for treatment options like surgery and prevention methods like quitting smoking and avoiding exposure to second-hand smoking. This type of screening test is not undergone with patients who are already in serious medical conditions because they might not benefit from the effects of the screening test. It's important to talk with your doctor about all the health-related issues and whether lung cancer screening is suitable for you or not.