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Lung Cancer – Diagnostics and Perspectives

September 17, 2019

- Maxim Sergeyevich, what provokes the development of lung cancer? Do people who do not smoke get sick?

 This disease is quite insidious, because in the early stages this type of cancer is most often asymptomatic, but it is in the initial stages that treatment is the most effective. Lung cancer is a heterogeneous disease, that is, it is provoked not by one, but by a number of factors. The reason for the appearance of the tumor is mutations, that is, damage to DNA cells, due to which their uncontrolled and non-stop division and spread throughout the body begins. This, in fact, contributes to the development of the disease.

 Therefore, to say that smoking is the main factor in the occurrence of lung cancer is not worth it. Of course, people who are prone to this addiction are the first at risk. And the vast majority of them suffer from small cell cancer. But this disease can be diagnosed in those who have never held a cigarette in their hands.


- What are the symptoms of the disease?

 - First of all, this is a cough, constant, indomitable. Of course, there are concepts such as cough and bronchitis of a smoker. But if the cough is frequent and especially if you notice streaks of blood in the sputum, this is the first signal to immediately undergo an examination.

 It is also important to pay attention to pain in the chest: when exhaling, inhaling, coughing, as well as at rest. It can also be shoulder pain, similar to rheumatism.

 Most of these symptoms can occur due to other diseases, such as, for example, osteochondrosis, intercostal neuralgia and so on. However, if you notice one or more of them, see your doctor. If cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, treatment will be more effective and the chances of recovery will increase.


- How is the disease diagnosed? Does fluorography help to identify it on time?

 Diagnosis of lung cancer is a complex and multifaceted process, on which the effectiveness of treatment largely depends. Fluorography, X-ray are low-specific research methods for detecting lung cancer. As a rule, with their help, you can clearly determine the already running, common form of the disease. The only diagnostic method used to reduce mortality from lung cancer is low-dose computed tomography of the lungs. This is a modern method with high sensitivity and specificity. It allows you to identify foci in the lungs (including very small ones), which are almost impossible to detect with other studies. Screening for lung cancer using low-dose computed tomography is primarily recommended for "heavy" smokers - people after 45 years with a history of smoking for at least 10 years a pack of cigarettes per day. The risk group also includes people over 55 years old, patients with chronic diseases of the lungs, bronchi, trachea; with a history of lung cancer.


 What treatment methods are used in LISOD? In what cases does the patient have a chance of recovery?

 - It all depends on the stage of the disease and on the histological type of cancer. I emphasize the importance of biopsy. It makes it possible to understand what type of cancer we are dealing with and find the most optimal way to treat it. For example, a small cell tumor - one of the subtypes of lung cancer - does not require surgery, even in the early stages. In this case, chemo and / or radiation therapy is used. Other types of lung tumors in the early stages are operated on with the subsequent use of chemo-radiation therapy. The stages are metastatic, widespread or large inoperable (in which there are no distant metastases to another lung or other organs) are treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy. And a special place in modern oncology is occupied by unconditionally specific modern methods of treatment - targeted and immunotherapy. If a lung tumor (not small cell) is detected, genetic studies should be performed immediately. Because if there is a mutation in any of the genes, we can act specifically on the disease with the help of targeted therapy, thereby improving treatment forecasts. Therefore, if the doctor offers treatment methods that you have never heard of, you should not think that you will find yourself in the role of an “experimental”. This is not necessarily about using some outlandish drugs or recently invented devices. Perhaps these are relatively new, but already proven world medicine methods. If we talk about the chances of recovery, then they are quite high in patients with stage 1-2 lung cancer. But even with late diagnosis, there is a chance of recovery, the main thing is to undergo a full examination and an effective course of treatment.


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