Lung cancer is the disease of interest by many people. Besides its information in the social media, the situation of PM 2.5 is now returning during the seasonal change, contributing to lung cancer, which is another disease that should not be overlooked.
Assoc. Prof. Kosin Wirasorn, M.D., Head of the Cancer Excellence Center of Srinagarind Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University explained that the cause of lung cancer is that the normal lung cells become cancerous cells, increase in number and form into cancerous tumor. The first culprit is cigarette smoking. However, at present, the toxic pollutant such as PM 2.5 is another cause. Moreover, there are other factors such as the occupation requiring contact or inhaling chemicals that can change the lung tissue into cancer.
Nevertheless, Assoc. Prof. Kosin stated that for people who have not come across the said factors, lung cancer can develop from the genetic mutation of the patient himself, despite his health care habit.
Checklist of lung cancer and the stages of the disease:
In general, the symptoms of lung cancer include firstly chronic coughs, coughing with blood, chest hurting from pleural fluid. Besides, symptoms are found when the cancer spreads to the organs outside the lung, possibly to the brain, resulting in weak legs and arms similar to brain infarction. It can spread to bones, causing severe pain. Very few patients with lung cancer do not have the symptoms.
Lung cancer can be divided into 4 stages:
Stage 1: Few symptoms, or cancer is accidentally found at the lung. Treatment can be done by operation and prescription of medicine for certain patients.
Stage 2: Cancer is small and spreads to the lymph nodes at the bronchus. Treatment can also be done by operation, prescription of chemotherapy or immune stimulant or targeting medicine depending on the tissue of each patient.
Stage 3: Cancer is big and spreads to the adjacent tissues, lymph nodes at the chest. Treatment will cover all of these by radiotherapy, chemotherapy or immune stimulant.
Stage 4 is the spreading stage. Most patients are found at this stage. Principle treatment is medicine prescription, which can be immune stimulant or targeted medicine. In the future, when medical innovations are developed, patients’ life can be lengthened for many years from the medicine.
The Head of the Cancer Excellence Center added that from the information of the Cancer Unit of Srinagarind Hospital, more and more patients with lung cancer come to the hospital for treatment, being the second from liver cancer. Both men and women can equally develop lung cancer.
“Many may worry that they do not have the symptoms and are well, but whether they can have lung cancer. To be honest, cancer does not occur easily or quickly. Therefore, if you are in good health, continue to take care of yourself and reduce the cancer-causing factors such as smoking, alcohol drinking, then the chance of cancer will be lessened.”
There are experts, complete equipment and innovations at Srinagarind Hospital to diagnose and evaluate the treatment and prescription of suitable medicine to each patient, with the competency of the international level hospital and the Cancer Excellence Center. There is now the project for screening patients with lung cancer. Therefore, those with high risk such as patients who smoke a lot can apply for the screening so that treatment can start as seen as possible, which means great chance of complete recovery.
“Those with family members having cancer may have the hereditary risk. They can consult at the Center of Excellence in Genetics or the Cancer Excellence Center, Srinagarind Hospital where they can be evaluated of the chance to develop cancer. If there is genetic abnormality, then prevention of cancer can be carried out as soon as possible.”
Assoc. Prof. Kosin ended that if a patient is diagnosed with the final stage of lung cancer, the relatives and the patient should provide mental support to each other. They should also consult specialized doctors because there are new medicines that can control the disease better. Palliative treatment can be provided, even though complete recovery is impossible, but at least the patient and the family can be happy during the treatment, which is the important objective of the patient at this stage.
News: Panit Khatnak