Why it is key to know the characteristics of lung cancer

It is the oncological disease that causes the greatest number of deaths.

Lung cancer is the malignant tumor that causes the highest number of deaths, both in women and men.

In the Americas, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), each year more than 324,000 new cases and nearly 262,000 deaths are reported; being that by 2030 “more than 541,000 new cases and approximately 445,000 deaths will occur.” On the world day of this pathology, why knowing the characteristics of each tumor is key.

Lung cancer is one of the most frequent malignant tumors, both in women and men, and it occurs mainly in elderly men; being that most of the diagnoses take place after the age of 65.

It is for this reason that experts warn about the importance of early detection and knowing the subtypes of lung cancer.

In this sense, they noted the importance of detecting “biomarkers or tumor markers to determine the molecular or genomic alteration or mutation that causes the tumor, in order to establish whether there is a targeted or personalized therapy to attack the mechanism that triggers the development of the malignant cells that cause the disease, optimizing the prognosis of the treatment”.

“To diagnose it early, the ideal is to perform screening with low dose radiation tomography in smokers over 50 years of age. On the other hand, when symptoms already appear, the disease is usually advanced.

Our challenge is to ensure that more and more people have access to this type of study”, explained Dr. Lorena Lupinacci, an oncologist, member of the Clinical Oncology Section of the Italian Hospital of Buenos Aires (MN 110.397).

Smoking is the main preventable cause of lung cancer, since it is associated with 80 or 90% of cases. “It is essential to emphasize it because it is modifiable.

We have to emphasize smoking cessation”, continued Lupinacci. And he added: “It should be noted that there are also types of lung cancer not related to tobacco or other risk factors, such as exposure to chemical substances (radon or asbestos), being a passive smoker (second-hand smoke) and a history of family”.

The truth is that in the face of this oncological disease, precision medicine or personalized medicine became a great ally; since it is considered one of the main revolutions in the treatment of cancer patients and allows health professionals through genomic tests carried out in the tumor or in peripheral blood to establish therapeutic decisions in a personalized way. These genomic and molecular characteristics of each patient’s tumor are called “biomarkers.”

This technique even makes it possible to identify people who may have a high risk of suffering from cancer and, in addition, help them reduce their risk, detect certain types of cancer early, correctly diagnose a specific type of tumor, choose the best therapeutic options for that cancer and assess the effectiveness of a treatment.