Oncologists push for smoking ban and hike in cigarette prices to keep lung cancer at bay

Ban on smoking and making cost of cigarettes unaffordable are suggestions made by oncologists to keep lung cancer at bay in India.

In India, lung cancer constitutes 6.9 percent of all new cancer cases and 9.3 per cent of all cancer related fatalities. On the occasion of the lung cancer awareness month observed from November 1 to 30, oncologists see oral drugs replacing surgeries, but its prohibitive costs are a deterrent.

Two  types of lung cancer, which grow and spread differently are  small cell lung cancers (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC). Cigarette smoking is the principal risk factor. Immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors that target the PD-1 and PD-L1 pathway are major therapeutic breakthroughs. These drugs improve the survival of NSCLC patients, not responding to traditional therapies. The challenge is when patients come in the  3rd/ 4th stage, said Dr. C N Patil, Consultant Oncology, Apollo Hospital, Bengaluru.


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