Categorized | National News

Lung Cancer On The Increase

In another 10 to 15 years, many more people will  fall  victim to lung cancer as the number of cigarette smokers have increased over the years,  according to Dr. Darius Unwala.

The  board member of the Cancer Society of The Bahamas, Dr. Unwala said that although the risk factor for lung cancer is often times smoking, it is not the only factor.

“The biggest thing with lung cancer has to do with cigarette smoking that’s by far and away the number one risk factor.

“When we were growing up, lung cancer was less prevalent because cigarette smoking was not cool in The Bahamas.  It  was more common in countries like Europe, and more common in England than it is in The Bahamas.

“A lot of cancers of the lung in The Bahamas are cancer spread. Rather than being cancer of the lungs itself, you may have prostrate cancer and it spreads  to the lungs, or you might have breast cancer and it spreads  to the lungs or you have uterine cancer and it spreads  to the lungs,” Dr. Unwala said.

“So, a lot of the cancer we have of the lung in The Bahamas, if you are not smoking, has to do with other cancers that just spread to the lungs,” he said.

However, Dr. Unwala also stated that by the time  an individual discovers that they have cancer of the lung, it is too far gone.

“The problem with lung cancer is that it usually presents at an advanced stage.

“So, by the time people have symptoms,  they’re coughing up blood, or they’re short of breath, or they have bone pain or weight loss,  it’s  just too late,” Dr. Unwala said.

He said  to avoid lung cancer, smokers have to make a life changing decision.

“The problem is people often find it very difficult to stop smoking and it is usually a life changing event that causes it.

“Prevention is the key with lung cancer and I think that people can stop it when they have a life changing event.

“It’s a matter of will-power and whatever you need to use to stop it,  you got to stop it.

“We know that actually smoking cigarettes  not only increases the risk of lung cancer, but increases the risk of other cancers.

“So, the number one thing you can do to prevent lung cancer is to quit smoking,;  quit not reduce, and you should do it today,” Dr. Unwala advises.

The Cancer Society of The Bahamas marks November as the month to bring awareness to Lung Cancer Awareness Prevention and Pancreatic cancer.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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