5,415 new cases were detected last year. It is the most dangerous type of cancer in Portugal.
In Portugal, 5,415 new cases of lung cancer were diagnosed in 2020, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO). The latest numbers are still responsible for 4,797 deaths last year, making lung cancer the deadliest oncological disease in the country.
“In addition to being the most common type of cancer in the world, lung cancer incidence is increasing at a rate of 0.5% per year,” warns Teresa Almodóvar, chair of the Lung Cancer Study Group (GECP).
Antonio Moraes, president of the Portuguese Society of Pulmonology, adds that the pandemic will exacerbate these numbers due to delays in diagnosis. “Lung cancer is one of the tumors with greater capacity and faster progression. The time factor is very important. Delays in diagnosis can mean that a patient is no longer able to undergo tumor regression by surgery (only treatment with curative potential) or because their general condition has deteriorated, and may not They longer have access to all available treatments,” he explains.
About 85% of new cases are discovered in people who smoke or smoke. The incidence is three times higher among men than in women, but with a tendency to increase among women, reflecting the smoking habits of our society.
The disease is silent. A tumor can develop for a long time without causing symptoms. Therefore, most patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage. Teresa Almodóvar explains that in addition to tobacco, “environmental pollution and molecular changes can also be risk factors for lung cancer.”
Not to mention aging, which, as in all cancers, is a risk factor.
Pulmonologists want the green way for patients
The Portuguese Society of Pulmonology is urging a green method for diagnosing suspected lung cancer to speed up testing and start treatment. The president of that institution, Antonio Morris, remembers that in the field of oncology all time matters and can mean a patient missing out on surgery or treatment that can give them more time to live.
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