Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths each year. It affects both men and women, with the average age of diagnosis being 70.
Although the number of women with lung cancer is significantly lower than in men, in recent years the number of women developing lung cancer has increased as a result of an increase in the number of women smoking.
Lung cancer begins in lung tissue and can spread to the lymph nodes and other parts of the body, such as the brain.
80% of the time it is diagnosed at an advanced stage, when surgery is no longer possible and the chances of recovery are lower.
The main cause of lung cancer is smoking, 2 out of 3 lung cancers are associated with smoking, including passive smoking.
To a lesser extent other risk factors include:
The baseline investigation for lung cancer screening is a low-dose CT scan. This enables early diagnosis of the disease, increasing patient survival by up to 90%.
At HC Marbella, we recommend that smokers, former smokers and people with a family history should have a lung cancer screening check starting at the age of 50.
In the majority of cases, early-stage lung cancer has no symptoms, and often symptoms are confused with other benign diseases. Symptoms usually appear when the disease is already at an advanced stage.
The most common symptoms of lung cancer are:
There are two main types of lung cancer:
The term „small cell“ refers to the size and shape of cancer cells seen under a microscope. It is important for doctors to recognize the difference between these two types of cancer because each is treated differently.
In all patients with lung cancer, treatment is decided by a multidisciplinary committee. The thoracic tumour multidisciplinary meeting or committee involves a group of physicians from different specialities who are experts and involved in the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. After reviewing all the tests performed, they decide on the best treatment option for patients based on the stage of disease, their age, general condition, and any other accompanying diseases that the patient may present.
There are different treatment options for cancer depending on each patient’s circumstances.
In recent years, new therapies have been developed for treatment of this deadly tumour.
One of these is precision medicine, this treatment involves studying tumour biomarkers to discover any genetic alteration and thus administer an effective drug, giving better results with reduced toxicity.
Currently clinical trials using immunotherapy are also under way. Immunotherapy helps the immune system to recognise cancer and destroy the tumour. Anti-PD-L1 immunotherapies are proving to be very effective in the initial stages and give hope for the future in metastatic lung tumours
November 16, 2022
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