Early and regular screening the key to dropping lung cancer mortality

Local hospitals saw an increase in the number of patients looking for help in early stages of lung cancer thanks to the promotion of early screening.

Local hospitals are seeing a rise in the number of patients seeking treatment when they are in pre- or early stages of lung cancer, thanks to the promotion of regular screening, experts said over the weekend.

Previously, 60 to 70 percent of people go to the hospital when they are already in middle- or terminal stages of lung cancer, most having lost the chance for surgery. 

“About 80 percent of patients in our hospital now are only in early or even pre-cancer stages of lung cancer, which means they can be completely cured after surgery,” Dr Han Baohui from Shanghai Chest Hospital said at the International Symposium on Respiratory Endoscope and Lung Cancer in Shanghai over the weekend.

The promotion of low-dosage spiral CT in regular health checkups can help identity at-risk people in time, Dr Han added. "After more precise checks, people can have their lung cancer detected early. For those only with pre-cancer changes, they needn’t receive chemotherapy after a surgery — they are just healthy people and can go back to work and enjoy life.”

Han said his department conducted research on 219 patients who had lung problems detected during CT checkups. “Among them, 210 cases were confirmed as early stage lung cancer and received timely treatment, with all reporting good results,” he said.

Lung cancer is the cancer with the highest incidence and mortality in China, and that number keeps rising along with tobacco smoking and influences from the environment.

“Early and regular screening is the way to control and even reduce the mortality rate of lung cancer," Han said. "Low-dosage spiral CT is an effective measure and should be further promoted."

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