Dr Chetan Kumar Gupta
MBBS, MD – Pulmonology
Cronus Multispeciality Hospital, New Delhi – 14 years experience
4th of February is World Cancer Day. Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death. It is very common and the mortality rate is very high. One out of every four cancer patient is suffering from lung cancer. On this occasion, Konsult app decided to interview with a list of FAQs, from leading Pulmonologist, Dr. Chetan Kumar Gupta.
Q: What are the possible signs of lung cancer?
A: There are many possible signs including Hemoptysis, which is coughing up of blood, pain in the chest, cough, breathlessness, weight loss and loss of appetite.
Q: Can lung cancer be prevented?
A: Lung cancer can be prevented if you are away from smoke. Smoke is the most important factor in causing lung cancer. If you are a smoker then you should quit smoking at the earliest. If you are a non smoker, make sure you stay away from second-hand smoke. Smoke from other people’s cigarettes, cigars, or pipes is called second-hand smoke. Make your home and car smoke-free.
Q: Are there different types of lung cancer?
A: Adenocarcinoma, Squamous carcinoma, Adenosquamous carcinoma, and Small cell cancer are the various types of lung cancers.
Q: What causes lung cancer?
A: While there are many causes of lung cancer, smoking is one of leading causes. The additional risk factors would include environmental smoke, genetic factor, Exposure to radon and asbestos. Although tobacco smoking is the leading cause of cancer, non smokers can also get it due to exposure to cancer causing agents at work, air pollution and gene mutations.
Q: Can lung cancer be detected early?
A: Usually symptoms of lung cancer don’t appear until the disease is already an advanced, non-curable stage. Even if lung cancer does cause symptoms, many people may mistake them for other problems, such as an infection or long-term effects from smoking. This may delay the diagnosis.
Some lung cancers are found early by accident as a result of tests for other medical conditions. For example, lung cancer may be found by tests done for other reasons in people with heart disease, pneumonia, or other lung conditions.
Q: What are the tests for lung cancer?
A: There are many tests depending upon the diagnosis like CXR, CT chest, PET-CT, Bronchoscopy and Endobronchial biopsy, EBUS.
Q: What treatment options are available for lung cancer?
A: Chemotherapy, Surgery and Radiation Therapy, again depending on the type of cancer.
Q: After a lung is removed, what happens to the space that’s left in the chest?
A: There is formation of excess fibrous connective tissue in an organ or tissue in a reparative. This is called fibrosis.
Q: Can I breathe and live normally if I have a lung removed?
A: Yes but removal of whole or part of a lung does decrease your lung function. You can lead a near normal life but hard physical activity may be restricted. After pneumonectomy you may notice shortness of breath, especially while walking up hills or doing vigorous exercise.
Q: What are clinical trials?
A: Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. For lung cancer we have clinical trials like LUX- lung 7, EGFR trial.