What is lung cancer?
- Small cell lung cancer (15-20%) are characterized by very rapid growth. In this disease, a surgical cure is rarely successful.
- Non-small cell lung cancer to grow more slowly, with localized disease, the surgery has a very high priority.
Worldwide, each year about one million people from lung cancer. 90% of sufferers die from this tumor. Thus, lung cancer is the most common fatal cancer among the men. For women, this cancer behind breast and colorectal cancer ranks third. In Austria, of which about 3500 patients / year are affected.
85% of the tumors are due to smoking, only 3-5% on secondhand smoke. With the number of cigarettes smoked directly increases the risk of developing lung cancer. At 20-40 cigarettes, the risk is already increased 15-fold. Worldwide there are approximately 1.1 billion smokers, representing a sixth of world population, it will be 5,500 billion cigarettes / year implemented. In Europe, continues to increase in the proportion of smokers has noted (1995: 34% of the population, 2002: 39%), and particularly the rise in adolescent smoking is observed with great concern. In Austria, 2.3 million people smoke, of which 800 000 are highly nicotine dependent die each year 14 000 people from the consequences of smoking. Less common causes include inter alia Radon, air pollution, asbestos dust. The inherited risk plays a subordinate role.
As an essential measure to smoking cessation is recommended. By anti-smoking campaigns, it is possible to achieve a reduction in lung cancer incidence.
The cancer symptoms are usually nonspecific and long unnoticed and are interpreted by patients as “smoker’s cough or chills.” Other patients complain of cough (45-75%), bloody sputum (27-57%), dyspnea (37-58%), pain (27-49%), and other symptoms. As a general symptom night sweats, weight loss or appetite loss is reported.
Currently there are no screening, the evidence shows a survival benefit for patients. Through a regular chest x-ray but a tumor can be detected before the onset of symptoms, unfortunately, most of these tumors, but already at an advanced stage. Much more accurate (sensitive), a computer tomography (CT). Here, tumors earlier, are primarily detected in a curable stage. It must however be carried out thousands of tests to help a patient. This cost / expense / benefit analysis is currently being tested in large trials, and only in the near future (2010), the value of a screening will be evaluated properly.?