Kathmandu, November 2
On an average, among 100,000 Nepalis, 101 die of lung diseases every year, making Nepal second only to Kazakhstan when it comes to deaths due to lung ailments. In Kazakhstan, some 114 people out of every 100,000 die of lung
diseases, according to World Life Expectancy survey.
As the world is observing lung cancer awareness month in November to increase awareness about the disease and its effects on health, reports reveal that more Nepali men have been found to be suffering from lung cancer.
According to Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital, 256 men were diagnosed with lung cancer in 2018 while the number of Nepali women diagnosed with the disease was 198 in the same year.
Smoking, alcohol, sedentary lifestyle, exposure to pollution, genetic causes, excessive exposure to radiation and
increasing life expectancy, are some of the major reasons why men suffer from lung cancer.
More men suffer from lung cancer in the country and the most common cause for this is smoking, say the doctors.
“Men’s tendency to smoke in groups, their outgoing nature in terms of alcohol intake with smoking are some of the reasons men suffer from lung cancer,” said Dr Ranjan Sapkota, associate professor at Manmohan Cardiothoracic Vascular and Transplant Centre.
“Whether a man is an active smoker or a passive smoker, it is harmful. Consumption of ae-cigarettes is equally harmful,” said Dr Roshan Prajapati, consultant medical oncologist at Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital.
Lung cancer is also common in people working in farms and those living around farms as they are prone to inhalation of chemicals found in insecticides and pesticides.
Combustion of fuels such as cow dung, wood and pollution are some other factors causing lung cancer. Carcinogenic substances in dust particles are causes for lung cancer, the doctors say.
“As the symptoms of lung cancer do not surface at an early stage, patients visit hospital when its too late. Also there is lack of awareness about lung cancer among people. People generally ignore cough, fever and pain in chest. If cancer is diagnosed at early stage, there is high possibility of complete cure,” said Sapkota.
If someone has persistent dry cough, weight loss, fever during night, if there is coughing of blood or blood is seen in the sputum then it’s urgent for the patients to visit the nearby hospital as these are symptoms of lung cancer.
Untimely treatment will lead to the spread of cancer to lymph nodes, kidney, brain, bones, liver and various other organs, added Dr Prajapati.
Globally, nearly one in six deaths is due to cancer. Approximately 70 per cent of deaths from cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries.
Source: Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital
A version of this article appears in print on November 03, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.