The High-Risk Factors of Lung Cancer
Know all about the factors that play a role in lung cancer with Dr. Sherif Fayed, Consultant Pulmonologist.
Cancer is the abnormal growth of the cells’ arbitrarily which can generally arise in any organ including the lung. The symptoms of lung cancer are variable, typically occurring late in the disease, ranging from simple coughs, coughing up blood, chest pain and difficulty breathing. Additionally, lung cancer is the second most common cancer to occur in men as well as the leading cause of cancer deaths.
Since symptoms are initially mild in lung cancer, it is usually diagnosed at a late stage and to avoid late detection, doctors tend to recommend that patients follow screening protocols and look out for common risk factors.
Typically, the screening protocol for lung cancer is recommended on a yearly basis for smokers and ex-smokers who are 50 years of age and older.
Smoking is a high-risk factor for lung cancer and the most frequent factor in patients of lung cancer, while also heavily effecting secondhand smokers. Research shows that smoking increases the probability of getting lung cancer, heavily impacts the treatment by decreasing the chances of survival and it is linked to approximately 90% of lung cancer cases.
Patients who are at high-risk should implement regular checkups in the form of chest x-rays and CT scans, to look for anything suspicious. If needed, doctors will then take the next step which is sampling either using endoscopy or a guided biopsy through imaging to get a prognosis and detect the nature of the cancer.
Lifestyle is also an important factor in minimizing the risk of any type of cancer and specifically lung cancer. The quality of air we are inhaling plays an important role in lung cancer, inhaling harmful substances and certain chemicals which include tobacco and carcinogens can damage the cells of the lungs. Additionally, avoid smoking, exposure to industrial smoke and exposure to pollution to protect from lung cancer.
Regular screening protocols for high-risk patients is key to early detection, and if it is discovered early, treatment is certainly more effective, and the survival rate improves significantly.
“Lung cancer comes in different forms and stages and based on that a treatment plan is created. Typically, we use different treatment modalities from surgery and chemotherapy to radiotherapy and combined treatment. We also use the latest medications known as Targeted therapy or immunotherapy, which has fewer side effects and better efficacy.”
Dr. Sherif Fayed, Consultant Pulmonologist at Al Zahra Hospital Dubai
A healthy lifestyle could also aid in treating lung cancer, helping patients feel better throughout their journey. A nutritious diet, staying active, exercising and a supportive environment could all reduce the side effects of treatment, making patients feel more energetic along with enhancing their quality of life.
Dr. Sherif Fayed is a Consultant Pulmonologist at Al Zahra Hospital Dubai with more than 20 years of experience. Through his extensive practice and outstanding experience, he is able to treat all Pulmonology conditions from Respiratory Critical Care and chest infections to pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer.