World Lung Cancer Day is celebrated every year on 1 August to raise awareness and educate people around the world about the troubling issues of lung cancer and raise the need to focus more on lung cancer research and gain support financial and moral for it.
Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide, accounting for 18 lakhs of patient mortality worldwide, or 20% of total cancer mortality. It is also one of the most common cancers in the male population of developing countries.
It is a type of cancer that starts in the lungs and occurs most often in people who smoke (both smokers and people exposed to secondhand smoke), although lung cancer can also occur in people who have never smoked.
Lung cancer often causes no signs or symptoms in its early stages. The signs and symptoms of lung cancer usually appear when the disease is in an advanced stage.
About the Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is recognized as one of the deadliest cancers, and according to doctors at the Mayo Clinic, lung cancer begins when cells begin to grow abnormally in the lungs, and people who smoke are at higher risk of developing lung cancer. Lung cancer, but it can also affect a person who has never smoked.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Signs and symptoms may not appear in the early stages, but may be apparent at an advanced stage. According to the National Cancer Institute, lung and bronchial cancer are responsible for the majority of deaths. Lung cancer was estimated to have numbered 1, 03,371 cases in 2022 and appeared among the top five sites for both men and women.
More than 80% of people with lung cancer smoke frequently. Secondhand smoke, radon, air pollution, and a family history of lung cancer are other causes of cancer and can show symptoms such as a persistent cough, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, chest pain, and fatigue.
Symptoms of lung cancer
“Typically, symptoms of lung cancer may not be detected in the early stages. Therefore, it is advisable to seek medical attention if you develop certain symptoms such as cough that lasts more than 2 weeks, transition to chronic cough or “smoker’s cough”, coughing up blood (even in small quantities), shortness of breath, pain in the neck chest. Wheezing, hoarseness, unexplained weight loss, bone/joint pain, fatigue, headache, swelling of the face or arms, and facial paralysis.
History of World Lung Cancer Day
The Campaign against Lung Cancer and Related Issues first came to prominence in 2012, organized by the Forum of International Respiratory Societies in partnership with the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer and the American College of Chest Physicians. The World Lung Cancer Conference (WCLC) is the world’s largest organization dedicated exclusively to lung cancer issues and educating people about lung cancer.
The campaign was launched considering both recovered and diagnosed lung cancer to provide education on how to address lung cancer issues. The main objective was to raise awareness about the main causes of lung cancer and educate people about their preventive measures.
World Lung Cancer Day 2023: Awareness
Education about the risks, symptoms, early detection and prevention of lung cancer is a crucial component in the fight against the disease. Earlier diagnosis, better treatment outcomes, and a decrease in the number of cases caused by avoidable risk factors are all benefits of increased awareness.
Some essential components of lung cancer awareness include:
- Quitting smoking and tobacco
- Understanding the dangers of secondhand smoke
- Educate and aware people about the risk factors related to carcinogenic exposure.
- Seek medical advice early.
- Frequent screening is advisable
- Empower and Promote Healthy Lifestyle
World Lung Cancer Day 2023: Importance
Statistics in India say that cancer cases could increase from 1.46 million in 2022 to 1.57 million in 2025. Lung and breast cancers in men and women are considered to be the leading types of cancer.
The main types of lung cancer are classified according to the presence of cancer cells examined: small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Small cell lung cancer spreads at a faster rate than non-small cell lung cancer.
Measures to prevent lung cancer
Quitting smoking is one of the main measures to prevent lung cancer. Additionally, the following are other measures that help:
- Limiting exposure to cancer-causing agents (nickel, arsenic, asbestos, etc.)
- Avoiding second-hand smoke (inhaling burning tobacco products)
- Limiting exposure to high-energy radiations (X-rays and gamma rays)
- Exercising regularly
- Reducing the risk of HIV infection
- Consuming balanced diet
- Avoiding inhalation of domestic wood smoke