Every year, about 10% of non-smokers die from lung cancer. The number of deaths in patients related to smoking is 9 times higher. The early signs of lung cancer are difficult to recognise, leading to late detection. Therefore, periodic lung cancer screening, particularly for those who regularly smoke, is very important. Timely control of the disease from an early stage will increase the patient’s chance of survival and maintain the quality of life after treatment.
Tobacco: the leading cause of lung cancer
According to the Ministry of Health, there are 20,000 deaths related to lung cancer in Vietnam every year, with more than 90 new cases recorded every day in the country. The United States Centre for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 90 per cent of lung cancer deaths are related to tobacco.
In the early stages, lung disease has no specific symptoms and so it’s often confused with other common conditions. Unusual symptoms include a persistent cough that doesn’t respond to common medications, chest pain, frequent respiratory infections, the patient coughing up blood (haemoptysis) and weight loss. However, those symptoms usually do not make a patient suspect that they have lung cancer.
“Regular screening is the best way to detect lung cancer early, especially for those in high-risk groups such as smokers, and those regularly exposed to toxic substances and polluted environments such as tobacco smoke, asbestos, arsenic and radon radiation,” says Dr Do Thi Tuong Oanh, a specialist at FV Hospital’s Pulmonology Department.
Tobacco is not only a major cause of lung cancer but a factor that leads to 20 other types of cancer, as well as cardiovascular and psychological problems. Dr Tuong Oanh particularly recommends that people aged over 50 years and anyone who has smoked tobacco for more than 15 years should undergo regular lung cancer screening.
Early detection increases the patient’s chance of survival
Ms Le Thi Binh (70 years old, HCMC) is a patient with non-small cell lung cancer, although she does not smoke and is not regularly exposed to a smoky environment. Ms Binh takes care of her health and in 2011 a routine health check-up discovered early-stage lung cancer. After timely treatment at Hy Vong Cancer Centre, FV hospital, Ms Binh recovered and has remained healthy.
Dr Tuong Oanh said: “For lung cancer, early detection indicates very different treatment results. It can save the patient’s life, prolong their life, or improve their quality of life.” Lung cancer screening by low-dose CT scan technology helps to detect early small tumours or abnormalities in the lungs that are difficult to detect by conventional X-ray methods. A low-dose CT scan is safe when the radiation is set at a low level and may not require contrast, so does not cause allergic reactions or side effects.
After screening, if lung abnormalities are detected, the patient will receive early consultation and examination by a team of experienced doctors at FV’s Pulmonology Department. PhD. Dr Do Thi Tuong Oanh, who also lectures at Pham Ngoc Thach Medical University, has more than 30 years of experience in the treatment of respiratory diseases and tuberculosis. Dr Nguyen Van Tho, PhD of Shiga Medical University (Japan), Head of the Department of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Ho Chi Minh City, has more than 18 years of experience in diagnosing and treating respiratory diseases, particularly in the lungs and thorax.
From May 25 to June 30, 2021, FV Hospital will offer a 20 per cent discount on low-dose CT scan packages for lung cancer screening in high-risk people, such as those aged over 55 years old, former smokers of one pack per day for 30 years or two packs per day for 15 years; or those who are exposed to toxic substances and environments polluted by smoke, asbestos, radioactive radon or arsenic.
To book a screening appointment, please contact:
FV Hospital, 6 Nguyen Luong Bang, Phu My Hung, District 7, HCMC.
Phone: 028 62906167 or 0972279420.