On the eve of World Lung Cancer Day (August 1), Russian oncologists presented statistics, which, alas, is disappointing.
According to the Ministry of Health of Russia, lung cancer is in the TOP-3 of the most common oncological diseases in the Russian Federation, with lung cancer taking the first place among men. The dynamics are not encouraging – over the past 10 years, the incidence has increased by 20%.
Annually, lung cancer is determined in the Russian Federation for 60 thousand people, and exactly the same number die each year from this diagnosis. Of the 60 thousand patients, 3 thousand are relatives of smokers who are forced to live with them in the same apartment. About 5,000 more cases are non-smokers, forced to inhale harmful substances in production, most often it is asbestos and radon.
In Russians younger than 20, lung cancer is diagnosed very rarely – less than 1% of the total number of cases. About 10% fall ill between the ages of 20 and 40. The risk of lung cancer increases dramatically after 45 years – the age group 45 to 60 years old accounts for half of all cases of lung cancer. And 40% get sick at the age of 60 years and older.
The number of women infected is five times less than men. So, while in men with cancer, lung cancer accounts for 31%, in women, lung cancer is only 4% among all types of cancer.
The leader in this disease is the United States, where 86 men and 37 women fall ill with lung cancer per 100,000 people. In the Russian Federation, this figure is somewhat more modest, although it is also one of the highest in the world: 68 men and 14.5 women are sick per 100 thousand.
For comparison: in Japan, this figure is, respectively, 45 and 13. In Asia, the situation with lung cancer is considered one of the most favorable.
But with regard to mortality, then Russia is ahead of most developed countries. So, in the USA, 53 people per 100 thousand people die from lung cancer. In Russia – 68.
Moreover, in the first year after a diagnosis in Europe, every tenth patient with such a disease dies, in Russia – every third (30%).
For example, in Scotland this figure is 8%, in Sweden and Germany – 12%, in England – 9%. And within five years after the diagnosis in Russia, almost half of the patients die, in England and Scotland – 22%, in Austria and Sweden – 33%.
Lung cancer is called "voluntary cancer." Indeed, if the development of other oncological diseases depends little on lifestyle, in order not to get lung cancer, it is enough just not to smoke.
Or quit smoking if you already smoke. However, the risk of developing cancer remains even among former smokers. According to statistics, the critical “smoker experience” required for the development of this disease is five years. If the smoker quit the addiction earlier, then the risk of cancer is minimal. But for smokers with 40 years of experience, the risk of lung cancer is 20%. In other words, every fifth gets sick.
It also plays a role at what age a person quit smoking – it is advisable to do this until the age of forty.
It is easy to diagnose lung cancer – at the first stage, signs of the disease are visible on a chest X-ray. However, after 1991, the system of compulsory fluorographic and radiological examinations was largely a thing of the past.
Therefore, it is not surprising that this type of cancer is most often detected at late stages: for example, in Russia about 39% of lung cancer cases are detected at the last, stage IV, at stage I – only 20%.
Like any oncological disease, it is possible to suspect cancer due to blood tests: hemoglobin decreases in cancer patients, sodium levels decrease and calcium levels increase.
Lung cancer is dangerous because it can be asymptomatic up to the very last stage. Therefore, smokers and other citizens at risk should pay attention to a number of signs that may indicate the development of the disease.