FALSE. The incidence of this disease has doubled in women in the last five years. Oncologists from the GECP warn that it is already the fourth most common tumour found in women.
10 MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT LUNG CANCER
Lung cancer is largely a male disease and does not affect women
I only smoke a few cigarettes a day, so I could not get this disease
FALSE. Tobacco consumption is directly related to the incidence of lung cancer, regardless of the amount consumed.
I will be able to avoid the disease by undergoing regular early detection tests
FALSE. Lung cancer is one of the few tumours where primary prevention, namely giving up smoking, reduces the chances of developing the disease by up to 80%. While recent studies have indeed shown the effectiveness of screening (CT scan) in high-risk groups, the GECP has stressed the importance of remembering that the most effective and cheapest way to fight this is by stopping smoking.
I don’t mind people smoking in enclosed spaces; second-hand smoking does not affect my lungs
FALSE. Passive smoking also affects the lungs. In fact, a percentage of tumours, while minimal, are related to environmental factors.
Young men smoke more than young women
FALSE. Data on the consumption of tobacco among women remains a matter of concern to experts from the GECP. In fact, a decline in smoking has not been so clearly visible in this group following the introduction of regulatory measures, with the percentage of ex-smokers remaining similar to how it was in 2006.
The habit of smoking is becoming a thing of the past
FALSE. While there has been a decline in smoking in the 40 to 50 age group, it has increased among young people, with the average age to take up smoking being 17.
Having lung cancer is a death sentence
FALSE. The research conducted by cooperative groups such as the GECP has enabled increasing progress to be made in the improvement of survival of this disease. Thanks to the Human Genome Project, lung cancer has also been found to be the second tumour in terms of genomic alterations, which together with increased knowledge of immuno-oncology treatments and their very promising initial results opens up the possibilities of a significant improvement in survival rates.
It is impossible to prevent the appearance of lung cancer
FALSE. 80% of these tumours can be prevented simply by stopping smoking.
I will have to go to a hospital abroad to get the best treatment for lung cancer
FALSE. Spain is among the leading countries in the research and treatment of lung cancer. In fact, the Spanish Lung Cancer Group, comprising Spanish oncologists, radiotherapists and clinical investigators. is one of the most active groups in their field worldwide.
Progress is not being made in the treatment of lung cancer
FALSE. Spanish oncologists have been performing what is known as “translational” research over the last few years, i.e., taking place in the hospital itself, and have discovered new treatment targets to slow the progression of the disease.