Lung cancer is also the most common type of cancer that causes death; In other words, 1 out of 5 cancer patients dies due to lung cancer. In addition to tobacco use, passive smoking, some substances in the soil and environmental factors such as air pollution can also cause lung cancer.
Lung cancer usually does not show symptoms. These tumors are usually detected during a scan or during a checkup. However, today, many people we suspect of COVID-19 due to the pandemic have had tomography, and thanks to this, many lung tumors were caught at an early stage, ”he said.
Emphasizing that the most important cause of lung cancer is the use of tobacco and tobacco products, Prof. Dr. Altan Kır said, “However, lung cancer can be seen not only in people who use tobacco and tobacco products, but also in people who have never used tobacco and tobacco products, around 10 percent. Apart from that, environmental factors are also important. Environmental factors such as passive smoking, some substances in the soil and air pollution can also cause lung cancer. In addition, unlike these, genetic factors are also an important factor. “The risk of incidence increases in those who have lung cancer in their family, first-degree relatives,” he said.
CT scans for COVID-19 enabled lung cancer to be caught at an early stage
Underlining that lung cancer does not usually cause symptoms, Professor of Thoracic Surgery. Dr. Altan Kır said, “These tumors are usually detected during a screening or control. However, today, many people we suspect of COVID-19 due to the pandemic have had tomography, and thanks to this, many lung tumors were detected in the early stages. Respiratory complaints such as resistant cough, coughing up blood, and shortness of breath can be seen if the tumor is in or close to the airways. In addition, complaints such as hoarseness and chest pain may occur due to the involvement of adjacent structures or tissues. In addition, patients may come across with general cancer symptoms such as weight loss, anorexia, and malaise, ”he said.
Imaging methods are used for diagnosis
Stating that imaging methods are applied to patients suspected for lung diagnosis, Prof. Dr. Altan Kır said, “Apart from conventional imaging methods, we use tomography and some special imaging methods that show the metabolic activity of the disease. Depending on the results of these, depending on the localization of the tumor, we either endoscopically, ie enter the trachea with a device called bronchoscopy, and make a biopsy from the airway, or we make a diagnosis with the help of external tomography and needle biopsy. We determine the cell type of cancer. Lung cancer generally has two main cell types. One is small cell lung cancer and the other is non-small cell lung cancer. “Small cell lung cancer accounts for about 20 percent of all lung cancers,” he said.
Surgical treatment is the most important treatment method in the early stages
Emphasizing that in small cell lung cancer, metastasis is seen in lymph nodes and distant organs in a very short time, surgical treatment is generally not recommended for their treatment. Dr. Altan Kır said, “However, when the tumor is of very small size and is caught early, surgical treatment has a place. We can perform surgical treatment in approximately 20 percent of lung cancers. There are 3 basic treatment methods for these ‘solid organ tumors’ such as lung tumors. Surgical treatments, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Surgical treatment is the most important treatment method in the early stages, ”he said.
Open and closed surgical methods can be applied
Reminding that the aim of surgical treatment is to control the disease locally and to determine the pathological stage of the disease, Prof. Dr. Altan Kır said, “What we do in the surgical procedure is to remove either the lobe or segments of the lung or the entire lung together with the lymph nodes. Sometimes, we also remove tissues or structures that are involved with the lungs and lymph nodes. There are two different surgical methods, open and closed. In the open surgery method, we perform the operation by entering through the ribs of approximately 10-15 cm. In such surgeries, patients have more pain after the surgery and the recovery time is longer. There is also robotic surgery among closed surgeries. Robotic surgery, on the other hand, is a method that causes little surgical trauma to the patient, so the patient’s postoperative comfort is much better ”.