Closing smoking greatly reduces the risk of lung cancer after 10 years of interruption; and in addition, if it were not for the cigar, the cases of this disease would be very few, said Dr. Isabela Rivas to Efe.
"85% of cases of this cancer are associated with tobacco, although in Mexico this figure is reduced because in 34% of cases the person responsible is wood," said the oncology doctor for Roche Mexico.
Lung cancer, explained by the expert, is a change of cells in the lungs that grow formally and without normal function, which causes the lungs to invade and generate flaws in this organ.
"This can spread to other parts of the body, especially the brain," said Rivas.
Therefore, in the world, it is the most common cancer and the first oncological cause of mortality. In one year, two million new cases are registered and 1.7 million people die.
In Mexico, 9,000 new cases are detected annually and 22 Mexicans die daily for this condition.
One of the factors that have led to an increase in the cases of lung cancer is that more and more women smoke, and thus do younger years.
"The problem is that eight out of 10 people reach very advanced stages of the disease and that affects so many deaths," said the expert. In addition, "the symptoms are not specific, and so the doctor begins to treat the patient with cold, pneumonia, antibiotics, and who is late in the diagnosis," he said.
Rivas explained that the lifespan of patients in advanced stages is five years. "Only 4% of patients diagnosed in advanced stages still live after five years, the rest dies between the first and second years of the disease," he said.
However, in recent decades the treatment of lung cancer has had a great deal thanks to the development of new therapies that have managed to improve the survival of chemotherapy.
In Mexico, the expert said, progress has been made according to the access to new therapies and today there are different alternatives to treating this cancer in advanced stages, and one of them is immunotherapy.
This type of treatment stimulates the body's natural defenses, to combat cancer. "With this treatment, patients who respond to have long-term benefits. In clinical studies, for two years, 30% of patients are still living. This has greatly changed the expectations and treatment of lung cancer," he said.
Another treatment is intended for patients who have not smoked or smoked very little, but those that have a change in the ALK gene. "They are usually very young patients and women," he said.
The lung tumor with ALK mutation is rare, but with a high associated morbem, since metastasis occurs in the brain in 60% of cases.