Lung cancer is easy to die, difficult to detect

Lung cancer, or bronchial cancer, is a malignant tumor that grows silently without symptoms from the bronchial epithelium or alveoli.

Dr. Nguyen Duc Hanh, Deputy Head of the Department of Oncology, Central Lung Hospital, said that in the world, lung cancer is currently at the top of the most common cancers in both incidence and mortality. In Vietnam, lung cancer ranks second after liver cancer, with about 23,600 new cases detected and 20,700 deaths each year.

According to scientists, less than 10% of cancers arise are caused by disorders from within the human body that cannot be changed. More than 80% of cancers arise are related to external factors that humans can change, including risk factors such as tobacco, unhealthy diet, environmental pollution, chronic diseases.

Cigarette smoking, including passive smoking, is one of the leading risk factors for lung cancer. Smokers are 6-30 times more likely to develop cancer than non-smokers. Scientists found that in cigarette smoke there are more than 4,000 poisons, of which more than 40 are carcinogenic. Many studies examining patients with lung cancer showed that 90% of the cases are related to smoking, and 24% of the sufferers are caused by passive smoking.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, old tuberculosis lesions, old tuberculosis tumors, calcified nodules, old scarring lesions in the lungs, and chronic dysplasia pneumonia … are the cause of lung cancer Environmental factors such as hazardous occupation in contact with amiant, chrome, iron, arsenic, silicon, engine waste, dust, radiation, air pollution …

Lung cancer is a malignant disease that progresses very quietly in an early stage, with almost no clinical symptoms. Symptoms only appear when the tumor is large enough and invades nearby organizations, most of which are detected early is due to regular physical exams or other medical examination by accident. out.

Lung cancer simulation. Image: Pinterest

The method to help screen and detect lung cancer early is chest X-ray. On x-ray film can detect small tumor lesions. On that basis, the doctor applies more specialized techniques to help determine the diagnosis. However, X-ray of the lung has some limitations: it is difficult to evaluate small lesions in the apical region, lesions in the central area of ​​the lung, mediastinum, post-balloon, behind the ribs, easy to miss. injury.

Instead of X-rays, you can take low-dose computerized tomography of the chest to screen for lung cancer. This is a great advance in the field of screening, the doctor said. Research data shows that, for patients at high risk of lung cancer, low-dose radiographic screening helps detect an additional 20% of lung cancer cases. compared with conventional lung x-ray.

Bronchoscopy with fluorescent light is one of the methods of early detection of lung cancer by detecting early bronchial mucosal lesions, thereby determining whether there are cancer cells or not, in particular. In cases of carcinoma in situ, dysplastic lesions can hardly be identified by simple white light bronchoscopy.

Some other methods such as bronchoscopy using NBI light source, tumor markers such as SCC, CEA, Cyfra 21-1, Pro –GRP, and NSE increase in the blood serve as a reference for lung cancer. . The NBI enhances the visibility of capillaries (small blood vessels) and other structures on the mucosal surface. Based on the image obtained, the doctor can identify the suspected lesion area and decide on a suspected local mucosal biopsy to do histopathological examination, helping to diagnose whether the lesion is cancer. or not from very early on.

High-risk groups such as age over 45, smokers, waterpipe tobacco for many years, people working in an environment exposed to toxic chemicals and radioactive substances, family members with many people with cancer, People with chronic lung lesions need periodic physical exams to detect lung cancer early. Those who have signs of respiratory abnormalities such as a prolonged cough, coughing up blood-stained sputum, chest tightness, feeling short of breath or tired body, poor appetite, loss of weight, should go to the medical facility. Early detection of lung cancer.

Dr. Hanh said that lung cancer is still one of the most common cancers among all cancers, with a relatively high morbidity and mortality rate. However, with the advancement of science and technology, lung cancer has many treatment models. Patients can have surgery, radiation, chemicals, and individual treatment models such as targeted therapy, immunotherapy. Multi-modal combination of treatment in lung cancer brings a very positive treatment effect, prolongs the life and quality of life for the patient.

The doctor stressed that the screening for early detection of lung cancer is extremely important on the basis that it will help the treatment achieve much better results. Therefore, it is necessary to have periodic health checks every year, especially those with high risk factors.

Thuy Quynh