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Lung cancer: a disease that not only affects smokers and is on the rise

In 2020, more than two million new cases of lung cancer were registered worldwide. During the same year, Mexico reported 7 thousand 588 new cases and 7 thousand 100 deaths from this cause, according to figures of Global Cancer Observatory (Globocan).

Lung cancers are generally grouped into two main types, called non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC), according to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of which approximately 80 to 85 percent of lung cancers are non-small cell.

Small cell lung cancer accounts for only 10 to 15 percent of all lung cancers, yet this type of cancer tends to grow and spread faster than NSCLC.

In addition to smoking, there are other risk factors for developing lung cancer. Some of them are: exposure to wood smoke, second-hand smoke, exposure to different carcinogens (radon, asbestos, uranium and arsenic, among others), some food supplements (beta-carotene), environmental pollution and family history, points out the National Library of Medicine of the United States.

The Dr. Jorge Alatorre, Medical Oncologist expert in thoracic neoplasms, indicated that, “in general, the symptoms of lung cancer do not appear until the disease is already in an advanced stage.”

“Treatment options for non-small cell lung cancer are determined by the stage (extent) of the disease, but other factors, such as overall lung health and function, are also important. Among the main treatments are: surgery, radiofrequency ablation, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy drugs and immunotherapy ”, highlighted Dr. Alatorre.

For her part, Lic. Miryana Pérez Vela, Director of Programs at Fundación de Alba (an organization that provides comprehensive support to people with cancer in a state of social and economic vulnerability, to access health services in Mexico) pointed out that: “the great challenge that patients with lung cancer face is how to live with this cancer in the best possible way? One of the pillars to achieve this goal is that the patient receives adequate and timely treatment to treat lung cancer and its symptoms, as well as having a medical care plan that supports their physical and emotional health to achieve comprehensive access , equitable and quality to the patient with lung cancer. It is a great challenge that can only be overcome with the joint work of key actors such as civil society organizations, the government and private initiative, particularly to reduce times for diagnosing the disease, access to quality treatments and comprehensive management: psychological , nutritional, palliative care and rehabilitation ”.

Finally, the Dr. Anna Maria Rojowska, Associate Medical Director at MSD He mentioned that “at MSD the commitment to patients is unwavering. MSD’s team of researchers and scientists brings together knowledge of genomics, biology, and the immune system to advance the way lung cancer works. “

“Eating a healthy diet, not using tobacco and avoiding exposure to carcinogens can help reduce the risk of developing this type of cancer. It is important for people to be aware of some signs and symptoms, such as a persistent cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, or bone and head pain, ”added Dr. Rojowska.

Within the framework of National Lung Cancer Day7, MSD joins this commemoration through the # PulmonesMásSanos campaign, developing a series of informative materials with the aim of increasing knowledge and promoting timely care for lung cancer.

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