smoking: World Lung Cancer Day: Quit smoking recently? Watch out for discomfort in chest, fatigue & swelling around neck


Take a bow if you have never smoked a cigarette in your life or have managed to quit this habit for good. You are among the 50 percent non-smokers in India. However, this cannot protect you from lung cancer.

While smokers are at high risk of lung cancer, people who quit smoking and are non-smokers are also at risk for various types of lung cancer.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 2.2 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed worldwide in 2020, and 81,200 cases of lung cancer were reported in India. Air pollution is the main cause of the rise in lung cancer in India, which also affects non-smokers.


What is lung cancer?

Lunch cancer occurs in the tissues and mucous membranes of the respiratory tract. Like other types of cancer, lung cancer develops at the cellular level. As the abnormal cells multiply and get out of control, they spread to the lungs before affecting or metastasizing to other parts of the body.

Back to recommendation stories

There are two types of lung cancer – non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). While smokers are often diagnosed with NSCLC or squamous cell carcinoma, non-smokers are diagnosed with SCLC, also known as adenocarcinoma.



Air pollution and adverse environmental factors are among the risk factors for lung cancer.

A report from the World Cancer Research Foundation states that lung cancer is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in the world and is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. A WHO study found that lung cancer accounts for 5.9% of all cancers in India and is responsible for 8.1% of lung cancer-related deaths.

Risk factors for non-smokers:
It is difficult to point out one risk factor that can trigger the growth of cancer cells in the lungs.


However, various studies point to the following reasons:

  • Workplace or home exposure to radioactive gas (check your homes and workplaces for this deadly gas)
  • Passive smoking or passive smoking
  • Long-term exposure to diesel exhaust, heavy metals, asbestos
  • Air pollution and adverse environmental factors
  • Family history of lung cancer
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Dr. Vishal Rao says lung cancer patients who practice yoga have a better chance of making a full recovery.Agencies

Dr. Vishal Rao says lung cancer patients who practice yoga have a better chance of making a full recovery.


Symptoms of lung cancer in non-smokers:

  • Persistent cough with blood spots
  • Discomfort and pain in the chest
  • Breathing problems, wheezing and hoarseness
  • Loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble swallowing and swelling around the face and neck
  • Poor respiratory health and recurrent infections

How to diagnose lung cancer:

Numerous diagnostic tests are available depending on the patient’s condition. The following are some of the most common diagnostic tests for lung cancer:

Basic biopsy: A tissue sample is taken from the patient’s lungs using a needle inserted into the lungs or a tube passed through the lungs. Other possibilities include making an incision and collecting a sample from infected areas of the lung. Based on the results of the biopsy, the course of treatment is determined.


Sputum cytology: Microscopic examination can detect lung cancer in patients with persistent coughing and salivation.

X-ray and CT: X-ray scanning and computed tomography can identify an abnormal mass. CT, on the other hand, can detect even very small lesions in the lungs, and low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) of the chest is a well-established approach to screening for lung cancer. Other imaging modalities such as PET, ultrasound, and MRI are also used for diagnosis and correlation with other tests.

passive smoking3_iStockiStock

Lunch cancer occurs in the tissues and mucous membranes of the respiratory tract.

Treatment for lung cancer in non-smokers?
Early detection is critical and surgery is often the first line of treatment. Depending on the stage of the cancer, the patient may need chemotherapy, radiation, or targeted therapy after the affected tissue or tumor is removed.

Lung Protection Tips:
The lungs are a collection of vital organs and the lifeline of your overall well-being. Lung cancer patients who practice yoga are more likely to make a full recovery and their disease is more treatable. Yoga can also relieve symptoms of shortness of breath.

Here are other things people should look out for:

  • If you smoke, quit now
  • If you have smoked before, never return to this habit – remember, you are still at risk.
  • Eat healthy food and stay active
  • Be aware of your surroundings and do your part to protect the environment
  • Exercise regularly to increase lung strength
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(Article prepared by Regional Director of Head and Neck Surgical Oncology and Robotic Surgery at HCG Cancer Hospital, Bangalore)

Capital “K”: stop smoking. It damages your brain, heart and hair

Capital “K”: stop smoking. It damages your brain, heart and hair

If you think smoking is “cool”, it’s time to rethink. Almost one in six people died of cancer in 2020, according to the World Health Organization.

Let’s dive in

Tobacco contains chemicals that can increase the risk of cancer and can damage every organ in the body. The World Health Organization has stated that the most common types are the lungs, breasts, colon, prostate, and rectum. Here’s a look at how smoking affects your body.

The danger of cancer

Tobacco use is known to be the leading cause of cancer and death from cancer. Tobacco-related cancer accounted for 27 percent of India’s cancer burden in 2020, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research.


Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world. Smoking can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic bronchitis, which can make breathing difficult. Pneumonia and tuberculosis are other infections caused by smoking.

Throat and mouth

Tobacco products such as khaini, gutha, tobacco betel and zard are the most common in India. However, smokers can also suffer from mouth and throat cancers. Gum disease, premature tooth loss, tooth discoloration are some of the other problems tobacco use can cause.


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