LAHORE - Lung cancer has been one of the commonest forms of cancer in Pakistan with tobacco smoking as one of its well known risk factors, said Consultant Radiation Oncologist at Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital Dr Azhar Rasheed.

Talking to media, he said that advancements in medical science have given the lung cancer patients only five years span. However considerable awareness initiatives are required to eliminate confusion between Tuberculosis (TB) and the lung cancer as both the diseases have quite similar symptoms. He said if a TB patient feels no improvement after 2 – 3 weeks of treatment, then it is advisable for him to rush for chest x-ray or CT scan of lungs. Most of the patients are diagnosed at later stages of lung cancer mainly due to lack of awareness and confusion with TB, he added According to Dr Azhar, situation in Pakistan is aggravating as majority of youth and women adapting smoking as a lifestyle. Smoking, being the most threatening one, is the main causes of lung cancer. The lung cancer has reached epidemic proportions and it is the leading cause of death in developing countries as well. “The main symptoms of lung cancer are acute cough, cough with blood, chest pain, recurrent pneumonia and TB. After the lung cancer is diagnosed, the procedure of treatment is decided according to patient’s condition. Surgery is the best treatment, but radiotherapy and chemotherapy can also be used depending on the stage of the disease. Some new medicines and TKI agents have produced promising results in cancer patients,” he revealed. To control the lung diseases, he said creating awareness about smoking effects is important. The Shaukat Khanum Hospital is playing a vital role to eradicate the menace of smoking from the society. The hospital annually runs anti-tobacco awareness campaign in schools, colleges and other sections of the society across Pakistan.