Why is early lung cancer screening important?

Every habitual smoker carries the major risk of developing lung cancer in a lifetime and puts others lives also at risk by exposing them to secondhand smoking. Lung cancer is one of the common types of cancers in India.

A report states that more than 25 per cent of cancer cases in India are due to tobacco consumption. While the existing patterns in regards to tobacco consumption and smoking need to be studied and analysed the need for lung cancer screening can potentially save many lives and help to improve the current state, mentioned Dr Indu Bansal, director and senior consultant, radiation oncology, Narayana Hospital Gurugram.

We can take the example of breast cancer screening which is much talked about in regard to the early detection of breast cancer. It has surely helped our many women to detect cancer in the early stages and opt for better treatment at right time.

Same way, lung cancer screening should be encouraged considering the existing pattern of smoking in the country. According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey India, 2016-17 around 267 million adults (15 years and above) in India (29 per cent of all adults) are users of tobacco which includes khaini, gutkha and smoking etc.

Lung cancer screening will help to encourage smokers to lead an improved quality of life. (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

While in rural areas, the prevailing illiteracy and lack of awareness are the reasons, urban regions are in the grip of fast life, overloading stress and unhealthy lifestyle. Together, it reflects a diverse range of challenges to be dealt with in order to eradicate the problem of smoking and fight against lung cancer.

Here along with awareness programmes, lung cancer screening programmes can widely help at many levels to deal with the situation, especially in the wake of the smoking issue.

How can screening help?

Lung cancers are majorly reported in stage 3 or 4 in the country. Hence, regular lung cancer screening will be making one aware of the alarming stage of tobacco users. As far as the cancer is concerned, early detection is the only way which ensures the best recovery. Although people’s free will cannot be controlled early symptoms and confirmation of upcoming risks will extend a bigger helping hand and help the patients to be prepared for treatment.

Lung cancer screening will help to encourage smokers to lead an improved quality of life. Being regular with screening may lead one to opt for a better lifestyle and follow healthy patterns. It can potentially work as an alarm to be aware of the current condition.

Through lung cancer screening, early detection will help to treat the patients early on. The rush for chemotherapy and radiation will simultaneously reduce. Once they are treated early, there will be lesser chances of leading to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Because there is a possibility that after being regular with lung cancer screening, many people will be encouraged to either leave this habit which will automatically save them from the risk of cancer or it will save them to reach the level of severity of the disease and there will be a lesser chance of any cancer therapy.

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