Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality in males in India: Dr. Jyotirup Goswami - Songoti

Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality in males in India: Dr. Jyotirup Goswami

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Kolkata: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality in males in the Western world and in India. It is one of the top 5 causes of cancer mortality in females as well. Naturally, there is a huge impact on resources of a family and a country due to lung cancer, says Dr. Jyotirup Goswami, Consultant-Clinical Oncologist and Head of Medical Services at Karkinos Healthcare, Kolkata.


The main causes for Lung cancer are:


       Cigarette Smoking is the chief etiologic factor. 80% of lung cancer deaths are attributable to smoking. However, lung cancer can also occur in non-smokers.

       20% of cancers in non-smokers are also attributable to passive smoking (Environmental Tobacco Smoke).

       Coal tar containing PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) is the chief carcinogen.

       No form of cigarette is safer.

       Low tar/ filter cigarettes cause coal tar deposition deeper in lungs (adenocarcinomas).

       Related with duration>intensity of smoking (pack years). 16-fold increase in cumulative lung cancer risk in persistent smokers; this risk is doubled for individuals who initiate smoking before age 15.

       Smoking one pack of cigarettes per day for 30 years increases risk of lung cancer-specific mortality 20- to 60-fold in men, and 14- to 20-fold in women compared with never-smokers. The risk nearly doubles if consumption persists for 40 years.


Other causes which can also lead to Lung cancer are:

       Asbestos (7-10 fold increased risk).

       Heavy metals (Cadmium, Nickel, Chromium).

       Ionising Radiation.

       No proven influence of dietary factors.

       Air pollution.


Air Pollution & Lung Cancer: Air pollution is caused by fine particulate matter from various sources, eg mines, factories, motor vehicles, burnt farmland stubble, forest fires and construction sites. This consists of tiny airborne particles known as PM2.5 that are 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller


The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified outdoor air pollution as a Group 1 carcinogen. The Lancet Commission on pollution and health established that all forms of pollution cause 43% of lung cancer deaths in the world. Air pollution alone causes up to 29% of all lung cancer deaths.


Studies have shown a correlation between PM2.5 exposure and mutations in the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor gene found in human cells that are common in about half of non-smokers with lung cancer. Sadly, 99% of the world's population is exposed to polluted air.


Symptoms of Lung Cancer are:

       Chronic, persistent cough.

       Hemoptysis (blood in cough).

       Chest pain.


Weight loss.

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