Wednesday, December 1

Lung cancer screening: an effective formula against the second leading cause of death


Lung cancer screening: an effective formula against the second leading cause of death

Lung cancer screening: an effective formula against the second leading cause of death

The lung cancer and bronchi is the deadliest in Spain, according to the latest available records. You just have to review the data. In the first five months of 2020, it caused 9,143 deaths, which is 19.4% of all cancer deaths in the country as a whole.

In addition, it has been the second cause of death in Spain among men in the first five months of 2020, with a rate of 30 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by cases of suspected Covid-19, with a rate of 24.4 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, according to partial data from the mortality occurred in 2020, from Statistics National Institute (OTHER).

It may interest you: Why do non-smokers also suffer from lung cancer?

And these mortality rates continue to rise not only in our country, but throughout Europe. According to data from the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), mortality has dropped by 10% in men since 2015, but is worryingly increasing in women.

It is expected that, by the end of 2021, the mortality rate among women will have gone from being 13.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants registered in 2015 to 14.5 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2021, so that the mortality from cancer of lung will have increased 6.5% among women in just over five years, from 2015 to 2021.

The main risk factor for developing lung cancer is smoking, although there are other causes that can favor its development, such as exposure to radon, this being the second risk factor.

The problem is that this kind of tumors they are detected when they are already in very advanced stages, which complicates their treatment and cure. Hence the importance of screening, as is done with other types of cancers such as colon.

Benefits of lung cancer screening

What is lung cancer screening? Well, it is a simple imaging test, computed tomography, what we all know as TAC, performed with low radiation doses (TCBD).

And according to the experts of the Spanish Society of Pulmonology and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR) perform this proof in high-risk patients, it would allow an overall reduction in lung cancer mortality.

There are many international studies that indicate this. The NELSON study, for example, achieved a greater reduction in mortality from this pathology in patients with certain characteristics (older than 55 years who smoke more than 30 packs a year or younger individuals, less than 50, and with less tobacco habit to their backs less than 15 packages a year).

Thanks to screening to these patients, lung cancer mortality in men was reduced by 26% after ten years of follow-up.

In addition, 50% of lung cancers detected with CT in the NELSON study were in early stage, compared with 75% of advanced stages (III or IV) in the control group.

An avoidable pandemic

At the moment, Spain has not implemented a lung cancer screening program. For this reason, SEPAR insists on the need to implement this effective detection tool for this type of tumors.

‘Lung cancer is a preventable pandemic. From SEPAR we want to work on two fronts to reduce the cases and mortality from this cancer, by promoting strategies to get more and more people to stop smoking, but now also by defending the implementation of cancer screening programs lung. Scientific studies support the implementation of these programs because they prevent deaths and manage to detect cases in their initial stages, “insists the doctor. Carlos A. Jimenez, president of SEPAR.

“We know that there is still a lot to do against smoking as current anti-smoking policies have shown to be insufficient, but if the lung cancer screening program is not implemented, we will be silent witnesses to the high mortality from lung cancer. When it could be avoided, ”says Dr. Juan Carlos Trujillo, thoracic surgeon and coordinator of the SEPAR Oncology Area.


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