Lung cancer seems to cause more deaths in India than any other cancer.
By Jignasa Sinha and Rohit Chatterjee
Bengaluru, Nov. 23, 2018.
Vikram Hospital aims to provide lung cancer screening program and smoking cessation therapy to everyone. The event had Dr. Niti Raizada, a senior consultant in oncology), Dr. Suraj Manjunath, onco-surgeon, and Dr. KS Satish, a consultant pulmonologist.
Dr. Niti Raizada said, “The problem with lung cancer is that even after conducting several awareness campaigns, people don’t reduce/stop their smoking habits. The only solution is to detect cancer at an early stage.”
Dr. Satish said, “People can combat or prevent cancer at an early stage, the problem lies with the recklessness. People often ignore the simplest and most evident symptoms, like black snot in mucous or prolong coughing and breathlessness.”
Lung cancer in both sexes can be attributed to many factors like air pollution, smoking, tobacco consumption, indoor pollution, and exposure to chemicals like asbestos. The hospital can only target awareness amongst patients who smoke; patients with cancer due to other causes can’t be targeted.
Dr. Suraj Manjunath, “The screening programmes we conduct are now subsidized, to help more people to detect cancer at an early stage, and treat it before it spreads to other organs and becomes incurable. There’s no real factual data in India for cancer research and cases. We rely on data from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), but that data is not always relevant and reliable since the data has no cases with people who go for screening programs and the data is restricted to only a few government and private hospitals.”
Dr. Niti Raizada talked about lung cancer treatment and its lack of accessibility in rural areas. “The money is not the issue, it’s a myth that people spread. The treatment is sometimes two-three thousand per month”, she added.
She also said, “There are new drugs in the market, FDI approves many of these since they are extremely efficient as they target molecules in the body, also with advanced immunotherapy and minimally invasive surgery, doctors all over the country can now treat patients with fewer side effects of meds and surgery and with more chances of being cured.”
These new drugs are affordable since they have no patents. But the immunotherapy and the surgery are expensive.
X-ray and CT scans are the two most common tests to detect lung cancer.
The doctors claimed 50 percent male and 30 percent female cancer patients are sick because of tobacco consumption.