National Institutes of Health report states that 40 percent patients of lung cancer in India are non-smokers.
Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology data shows lung cancer leading with 9.4 percent among all cancer patients in Karnataka. Oncologists say that the increase in lung cancer cases is due to smoking which includes passive smoking and pollution is a growing factor.
Other than smoking being the main reason for lung cancer, Union for International Cancer Control reports shows that nearly half of the lung cancer cases are also related to air pollution. “Air pollution, believe it or not, in a few recent studies where patients are non smokers, a lot of diagnosis have been attributed to air pollution,” said Dr Neha Sehgal, Oncologist, Fortis Hospital Bangalore.
Patients with no history of smoking but symptoms such as severe headaches and sudden weight loss have also been diagnosed with lung cancer. Shivani Dhillon, daughter of the patient, Devinder Jeet
Singh Dhillon asserted that severe headaches and sudden weakness in body were some of the symptoms she observed. “Even though, he didn’t have a history of smoking in his family or himself,
he still got lung cancer. The symptoms I noticed were severe headaches and sudden weight loss. I would suggest getting yourself diagnosed if you face extreme headaches and weakness.”
Another report from National Institute of Health report stated that 40 percent patients of lung cancer in India are non-smokers and asserted that early diagnosis of lung cancer increases the rate of survival to 90 percent. Union of International Cancer Control report presented some of the preventive measures such as increased green spaces, cleaner energy sources and active transportation which includes (walking and cycling) which can help in reducing air pollution, hence,
mitigating the risk of lung cancer.
Dr Neha Sehgal suggested that as soon as one feel any symptom such as coughing for more than three weeks and feeling fatigue, he/she should get their check-up done before cancer spreads to
other parts of the body.