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Alarming Rise In Lung Cancer Amongst Non-Smokers, Women And Youngsters: Study

The study conducted by a team led by Dr Arvind Kumar from Medanta hospital observed that an increasing number of patients treated in the outpatient clinic were non-smokers of a relatively younger age group.

In nearly 30 per cent of cases, the patient's condition was initially misdiagnosed as Tuberculosis and treated for many months leading to a delay in definitive diagnosis and treatment

New Delhi: The study conducted by a team led by Dr Arvind Kumar from Medanta hospital observed that an increasing number of patients treated in the outpatient clinic were non-smokers of a relatively younger age group. Details of patients who underwent treatment between March 2012 and November 2022 were analyzed to assess the demographic details of these patients and chart a trend. A total of 304 patients were analyzed retrospectively. In the study, the age at presentation, gender, smoking status, stage of disease at the time of diagnosis and type of lung cancer were recorded and analyzed, besides other parameters.

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Speaking about the study, the Chairman of the Institute of Chest surgery, Chest Onco-surgery and Lung Transplantation at Medanta hospital Gurugram, Dr Arvind Kumar said,

I am shocked at the alarming rise in Lung cancer cases and occurrences in younger individuals, non-smokers, and women. Lung cancer is a dreaded-disease, with one of the lowest 5-year survival rates.

Dr Kumar further stated,

While conventional wisdom says that smoking is the main cause, there is strong evidence now, that points to the increasing role of air pollution in the rising incidence of lung cancer.

Speaking about the initiative by the Medanta hospital with regards to Lung Cancer initiatives, Dr Kumar asserted,

#BeatLungCancer is a humble initiative by Medanta to increase disease awareness, promote screening for early detection, and provide inspiration and support through stories of strength of other patients.

Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman and Managing Director, Medanta, stated that,

Findings of this study which indicate a rising incidence in earlier unaffected population groups is a matter of concern.

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“An overall increase in the incidence of Lung Cancer in both men and women was observed. In men, Lung Cancer is leading in men in terms of prevalence and mortality, while in women it has jumped to No 3 (as per Globocan 2020) from No 7 (as per Globocan 2012) over 8 years”, mentioned in the study.

“Nearly 20% of patients were found to be less than 50 years of age. The trend showed Lung Cancer developing in Indians about a decade earlier than in their western counterparts. Nearly 10 per cent of all patients were less than 40 years of age with 2.6% in their 20s”, the study mentioned.

In the study, it has been found that 50% of patients were non-smokers,

Nearly 50% of these patients were non-smokers. Of this, 70 per cent of patients were in the younger-than-50-years age group and 100 per of patients under 30 years of age were Non-smokers.

The incidence of Lung Cancer was rising in women, who accounted for 30 per cent of the overall patient load and all were non-smokers. In the past, this figure was much lower (as per Globocan 2012), revealed by the study.

The study further stated that 80 per cent of patients were diagnosed in the advanced stage of the disease when complete treatment is not possible, and the intent of treatment gets restricted to palliative.

In nearly 30 per cent of cases, the patient’s condition was initially misdiagnosed as Tuberculosis and treated for many months leading to a delay in definitive diagnosis and treatment, the study indicated.

Also Read: “Doctors Can Treat, Policy Makers Need To Tackle Air Pollution”: Dr. Rachna Kucheria

The majority of patients were present with Adenocarcinoma against Squamous Carcinoma, which dominated earlier reports.

Notably, Adenocarcinoma forms when cells lining the outside of the lungs become cancerous, whereas Squamous Carcinoma impacts the cells that line the surface of airways. Former is known to have relatively poorer outcomes.

The study indicates that in the coming decade we are very likely to see an increase in the number of non-smoking Lung Cancer patients of the female gender in the younger age group.

This risk group is very different from the earlier dominant at-risk demographic of older men who smoke tobacco.

According to the study,

There is an urgent need to raise awareness about the risk of Lung Cancer across different sections of the society for appropriate actions. Effective measures to reduce tobacco consumption and control air pollution will help control the rising graph of Lung Cancer cases.

Also Read: Jharkhand May Witness 5% Rise In Aerosol Pollution In 2023: Study

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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