World Lung Cancer Day is observed on August 1st. Smoking is one of the major modifiable risk factors that can increase the risk of lung cancer. Here’s everything you need to know.
World Lung Cancer Day seeks to raise awareness about lung cancer on August 1 each year
A large number of tobacco-related cancers are recorded every year in India. Up to 27% of cancer cases were caused by tobacco use, according to data from the National Cancer Registry of India. In India, almost 70,000 patients are diagnosed with this dreaded disease every year and tobacco use remains the most important and preventable risk factor (80-90%) of it. Studies have shown that many patients continue to smoke even after receiving a cancer diagnosis. While some patients are determined to quit smoking, some consider it useless now that the damage is already done. However, it is important to emphasize the adoption of formal smoking cessation programs for all smokers / tobacco users who have been diagnosed with cancer to avoid treatment-related side effects, to avoid worse outcomes in terms of related survival. with cancer and also prevent the possibility of a second cancer. and other health-related issues.
Adverse treatment outcomes in lung cancer patients with all modalities of treatment.
Surgery– There is more chance of lung infections during the postoperative period in smokers; this has been demonstrated in several studies. In addition, postoperative wound healing in patients who continue to smoke during treatment is known to have been deficient.
Radiotherapy– Smoking can cause hypoxia, lack of oxygen in the body or part of the body. Hypoxia can produce worse results from radiation therapy. In addition, the side effects of radiation therapy also increase in a patient who continues to smoke.
Chemotherapy, immunotherapy and targeted treatment– Tobacco smoke toxins can cause cellular changes that affect the way chemotherapy drugs are metabolized, which can make them more toxic or less effective. In addition, due to decreased immunity in smokers, the benefits of chemotherapy and immunotherapy are reduced. Targeted therapies may have more adverse effects in patients who continue to smoke.
Delays in treatment– A greater burden of symptoms due to lung damage from smoking can lead to interruptions in treatment, dose reduction and delays in therapy. Treatment interruptions and dose reduction may, in turn, compromise treatment efficacy, resulting in lower survival rates.
Smoking can cause increased recurrence and even new cancer can appear
In patients where the lungs are already affected, there is a possibility of field cancer (where the cancer seed can always grow in unhealthy soil) and this causes high mortality rates, as these are highly resistant cancers. treatment.
Barriers to quitting smoking– Many people with cancer do not want to tell their doctor about their tobacco use. There can be several reasons, including:
- Concern for the doctor to judge them
- Concern so they may receive less support for their cancer diagnosis
- You think that quitting smoking after a cancer diagnosis makes no sense
- You believe that tobacco use can help relieve stress from a cancer diagnosis
Instead, talking about tobacco use with your doctor will help improve patient support. Tobacco products contain nicotine, which creates addiction. Addiction makes it difficult to quit smoking, even if someone is motivated to quit smoking, so medical care is always important. It is never too late to quit smoking and the healthcare team would help the patient achieve this goal.
(Dr. Peush Bajpai MD, DM, ECMO consultant and chief, medical oncology department, HCMCT Manipal Hospital, New Delhi)
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