World Lung Cancer Day, celebrated every year on August 1 since 2012, serves as a crucial event to raise awareness and eliminate the stigma surrounding this lethal disease. Organized by the Forum of International Respiratory Societies in collaboration with the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer and the American College of Chest Physicians, the campaign gained momentum in the years leading up to its recognition. As a result, people became more knowledgeable about the signs and symptoms of lung cancer, aiding in early detection and improved treatment outcomes.
The prevalence of lung cancer remains a global concern, with the number of cancer cases projected to increase significantly in India, reaching 1.57 million by 2025. Among the various types of cancer, lung cancer, both in males and females, stands as one of the primary causes of cancer-related deaths. It is categorized into two major types: small-cell lung cancer and non-small-cell lung cancer, each exhibiting distinct characteristics under the microscope. Notably, small-cell lung cancer demonstrates a higher rate of spreading compared to its non-small counterpart.
Undeniably, lung cancer poses a considerable threat to those who smoke, with over 80% of lung cancer cases occurring among frequent smokers. However, it is essential to recognize that lung cancer can also affect individuals who have never smoked. Factors such as second-hand smoke, radon exposure, air pollution, and a family history of lung cancer can contribute to its development.
Early symptoms of lung cancer may not be apparent in the initial stages, making early detection challenging. However, as the disease progresses, prominent signs may include a persistent cough, difficulty breathing, coughing blood, chest pain, and fatigue.
On this World Lung Cancer Day, the focus remains on raising awareness about the disease and emphasizing the criticality of early detection and prompt treatment. By increasing knowledge and understanding, we strive to make a positive impact in the fight against lung cancer and its devastating effects on individuals and families worldwide.