Lung cancer highly deadly, but avoidable. Prevention is the best weapon against this disease, since more than 80% of cases of lung cancer, which is increasing its incidence among women, are due to exposure to tobacco smoke.
What is lung cancer
The lung cancer is a malignant tumor that arises in the lung or bronchi, and may extend to other locations such as the brain, bone, liver and lymph. It is the most deadly malignant tumor , being the second in frequency among men, behind prostate cancer ; and the second most common also among women, behind breast cancer . It supposes more than one million annual deaths worldwide. And in the cases in which it survives, the consequences of an excision of a lung or one of its lobes can generate a significant respiratory limitation in patients who usually have a diminished lung reserve.
There is a direct relationship between smoking and lung cancer – especially small or small cell cancer – and that is where this disease can begin to be overcome. In fact, in the last decade there has been a slight decrease in its incidence due to the success of the anti-smoking campaigns and their awareness. Unfortunately, approximately 85% of patients die five years after being diagnosed, since in many cases the tumor is widespread at the time of diagnosis. Up to 50% of cases are diagnosed in a locally advanced phase. It can initially manifest itself as a solitary nodule on an x-ray performed for another reason, and only if this node is biopsied can it be identified as malignant. In this initial situation, the cure rate is higher.
More than 80% of lung cancer cases derive exclusively from exposure to tobacco smoke . All this indicates that despite its high mortality it is one of the most preventable cancers. However, although tobacco is primarily responsible for the onset of this condition, anyone can develop lung cancer. And, other environmental factors, metabolic, genetic, hormonal and food, may be somehow involved in its appearance.
Lung cancer, increasingly common in women
Lung cancer is one of the deadliest and with the highest incidence. A devastating fact is that every 20 minutes a person dies in Spain due to this cancer, they claim from the Spanish Lung Cancer Group (GECP). In the last 30 years there have been many campaigns against smoking, and this, together with the development of new treatments, has contributed to a marked decrease in the number of men dying from lung cancer.
On the contrary, the number of women with lung cancer. It has increased, because there are more women smokers than before. In Spain alone, it is estimated that by 2019 there will be about 29,000 new patients with this tumor, of which approximately two out of ten are women (although slightly more than 20% are not smokers), according to data from the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM) and the GECP.