Lung cancer exceeds 15% of cancer deaths in the general population in the world as well as cancer worldwide and exceeds the cancer of the colon and cervix, and only for breast cancer in the female population.
This high figure is associated with the diagnosis of advanced cases in most cases, because only 20% of cases were discovered in the early stages with curative treatment.
WHAT IS IT?
This disease affects more men and older smokers; However, in recent years we have seen a progressive change in the characteristics of the patient population. Although male smokers still represent the majority of patients, the proportion of women who suffer from lung cancer and who are mostly non-smokers and younger is increasing.
In any case, the main cause of this type of cancer continues to smoke, but in non-smokers, at least 25% of cases occur, depending on environmentally passive smoking, wood smoke, asbestos and some factors. oncogenic virus. Patients over 55 years old, smokers or secondary tobacco smoke, or the burning of organic compounds, lung cancer is considered to be high risk.
Chronic lung disease carriers such as those with other cancers, family members with cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) also increase the risk of lung cancer.
SYMPTOMS AND HOW IS DIAGNOSTICS?
Cough, blood castration, shortness of breath and chest pain are the clinical manifestations. It can be discovered as a coincidental finding on a chest X-ray or tomography in the form of a nodule or lung mass.
In order to establish a definitive diagnosis, a biopsy is required, which is an analysis of part of the affected tissue. This study is carried out by a medical pathologist who is responsible for determining whether malignant cells are present in the sample and, if so, what type of cancer affects the patient. This step is very important for determining the prognosis and choosing the treatment. Among the determinations determined by the pathology laboratory are the detection of molecular markers, which have been altered in cancer cells, investigated the presence of some genes or proteins that have changed in cancer cells and are involved in the oncogenic mechanism and which can be the target of therapy. Mainly patients in the advanced stages of the disease.
In recent years, a better understanding of the mechanisms producing diseases, as well as the genetic and molecular basis, has been achieved; this has led professionals to better characterize each case and thus to customize each patient's treatment. It is a heterogeneous disease, ie patients may present differences in their genetic profile in their clinical presentation and therefore may respond differently to current treatments.
The best strategy to reduce the likelihood of developing lung cancer is to quit smoking. People older than 55 years of age with a history of smoking are at greater risk for lung cancer, so it is strongly recommended to consult a specialist to perform annual checks and provide an opportunity for early diagnosis.
Recommended: Iris D. Boyeras Navarro (M.N 118839). Coordinator of the Department of Thoracic Oncology, Argentine Respiratory Medicine Association. Pneumonia. Oncology Institute Ángel Roffo. University of Buenos Aires.