‘Third-hand smoke, air pollution risk factors for lung cancer’
LUCKNOW About 70% of lung cancer cases in the state capital are diagnosed at a late stage that makes treatment difficult, said Dr Harshvardhan Aatreya, a medical oncologist on Friday.
“In India, about 55,000 lung cancer cases are diagnosed every year. Of these, only about 5,000 people survive. The reason for high mortality rate is lack of information about correct treatment options and late diagnosis,” he said at a press conference.
In the past few years there has been a growing incidence of lung cancer in India. In Lucknow, this has gone up by about 50%, he said.
“Apart from smoking and passive smoking, third-hand smoke and air pollution are being seen as risk factors for lung cancer,” added Aatreya.
Third-hand smoke refers to the chemical residual of tobacco smoke contamination that clings to clothing, wall, furniture, carpet, cushions, hair, skin and other materials after the cigarette is extinguished.
Some of the symptoms that should be kept in mind for lung cancer are cough that does not go away or gets worse, coughing up blood or rust-colour sputum, loss of appetite and weight, fatigue, weakness, recurrent bronchitis and pneumonia, he said.
“We have made advances in treatment, but early diagnosis makes treatment easy,” he emphasised.