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Lesser Known Facts About Lung Cancer
Apr 2016
Dr Sujeet Rajan
MD, DNB Consultant Respiratory Physician, Mumbai

The WHO has declared cancer as one of the leading causes of death worldwide, with an estimated eight million deaths, annually. What is even more alarming is the fact that the number of new cancer cases will rise by 70 per cent over the next two decades. In India, experts say the scenario is no different. In a population of 1.2 billion, every year one million new cases of cancer is diagnosed.

Among the various types of cancers, one of the lesser-known but extremely serious kinds of cancer is lung cancer. Earlier considered to be rare, lung cancer has now reached epidemic proportions in global populations. The well recognized risk factors for lung cancer are smoking - both active and passive, air pollution, dietary cholesterol and family history.

However, of late, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) too, has emerged as a potent risk in the development of lung cancer. Although in the past, there have been studies suggesting an association between lung cancer and COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as a major risk factor for lung cancer has not received due attention.