Quit Sticks to Live Longer

Published: 01st December 2015 04:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st December 2015 04:52 AM   |  A+A-

There is a significant rise in cases of lung cancer in India. The overall five-year survival rate for lung cancer in developing countries is only five per cent. In Tamil Nadu, lung cancer is common in men and the total cases this year is close to 55,000 among which 600 cases are from Chennai.

As the Lung Cancer Awareness Month comes to an end, here are some quick tips to reduce your risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer, as told by Dr Shankar Srinivasan, consultant medical oncologist, Apollo Cancer Speciality Hospital.


Quit Sticks.jpgApart from smoking cigarettes, genetics and environment can also cause cancer. People who work in the asbestos industries and in the shipping industry are at risk. On the other hand, it is difficult to find out if the person has a mutation or gene that can be checked for lung cancer unlike breast cancer. There are a few families who have high possibilities, but there is no marker. Less than five per cent of cases are genetic.


There are four stages, the fourth being the most advanced. Close to 40 to 50 per cent of patients are diagnosed when they are at stage 3b or four. It is always better to be diagnosed at stage one where surgery is an option. But for people with cardiac or other lung problems, surgery is not possible. They turn to chemotherapy and radiation as done in stages three and four.


Regular screening tests are not needed. Tuberculosis is common in India. So, after all the expensive tests, if you don’t do something about the signs of lung cancer, then it becomes difficult. While excessive symptoms are seen at the third and fourth stage, the initial stages have few or no symptoms. The signs are picked up during routine tests undertaken due to a company policy or for visa. Apart from the common symptoms of fever, coughing, loss of weight, some rare symptoms include muscle weakness, sodium level drop and seizures.


First, quit smoking, more so, don’t start smoking. Filtered or unfiltered cigarette, it is harmful and the incidence rate is the same. For people who think controlled smoking is harmless, the greater problem is to actually be in control. It always starts with one or two and ends in a pack or two. Chain smoking is the most harmful as it constantly makes changes the DNA of the cell. Although it takes round three or four tries to ultimately quit smoking, the process of resuming smoking after a considerable gap can recoil the DNA matter. That also calls for danger. Tobacco smoking is increasing now which will lead to an increase in the number of cases. Talking about marijuana is difficult, because there is not much information available If it increases risk or not is unknown, yet.

Stay up to date on all the latest Chennai news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp