Approaching November – Lung Cancer Awareness Month

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Lung cancer is a disease that affects about 6,000 people annually in Serbia, while last year, two million and two hundred thousand people were affected by it worldwide, with a mortality rate of over one and a half million. With this insidious disease, no symptoms are noticeable in the first stage, and they are only noticeable later in the advanced stages of the disease, making it much more difficult to have a positive outcome of treatment. When symptoms such as severe coughing, shortness of breath, and coughing up blood occur, it is clear that the disease is already in an advanced stage and that the chances of successful treatment are much lower.


Preventive check-ups and early detection save lives


The primary way to detect the appearance of malignant cells in time is to go for regular check-ups once a year (especially for smokers over 40 years of age), where a chest X-ray is done. For other patients, this type of screening is recommended once every two years. If any changes are noticed, patients are advised to undergo a CT scan of the lungs, which will provide a precise image of the lung condition and answer the question of whether the patient has malignant cells in the lungs.


We mentioned at the beginning that there are no visible symptoms of lung cancer at the beginning of the disease, so it is very important to detect malignant changes through preventive check-ups on time. Doctors explain that this disease occurs in stages, and that in the first stage, cancer cells are only found in the lungs, while in the third and fourth stages, they spread to nearby tissues and lymph nodes, and in the last stage, they can be found in other organs that are far away from the lungs.


If detected early, this type of cancer is curable in about 70% of cases. When the tumor grows to more than 3 centimeters, the chances of the patient surviving significantly decrease. That’s why it’s important to have a CT scan of the lungs to detect changes in time because this device can detect nodules that are only 2 to 3 millimeters in size, making them operable and giving the patient a chance to fight this deadly disease before the tumor spreads to other organs.


Risk factors for which CT scans of the lungs should be taken


November is a month when special attention should be paid to lung health, which can be endangered by smoking as the number one risk factor for the development of lung cancer, as well as air pollution which is also very present and dangerous for our lungs. Because of these two main risk factors, certain groups of patients are recommended to schedule an examination and undergo lung imaging.

Who should go for a CT scan of the lungs?


  • People over 40 years of age who are smokers or have been in the past
  • Former smokers who quit within the last 15 years
  • All those who have been in contact with asbestos or other carcinogenic materials
  • All those who have a family history of this disease
  • Patients who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or another chronic lung problem


The patient enters the CT scanner

Healthy habits for healthy lungs

Stop smoking

Not only does smoking increase the risk of lung cancer, but it is also the cause of many other chronic lung-related problems, with asthma being the most common. If you are a smoker, regardless of how many years you have had this habit, it is important to quit as soon as possible. This can help you reduce the risk of getting this serious malignant disease, but also quitting smoking can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Schedule a specially designed examination for smokers at Pulse Cardiology Center and determine the condition of your heart, blood vessels, lungs, etc.


Protect your overall health

For overall health of the body, and indirectly for the health of the lungs, it is important to take care of your general health. For people who already have certain problems with their respiratory system, it is very important not to expose them to various risky situations, such as getting seasonal flu or the current COVID-19 virus. Viral pneumonia can have a very negative and even fatal impact on the patient, so protection and caution are always welcome. During the flu season, it is important to pay attention to hand hygiene and avoid crowds, as this can be a good recipe for avoiding respiratory diseases. Also, it is important to take care of your immunity and strengthen it as much as possible, as this gives the best chance to fight viruses in the winter period.


Exercise regularly

Physical activity, regardless of age, weight, or overall health condition, can help the lungs function normally. It is recommended that each of us has some form of moderate physical activity five days a week. This can be cycling, walking after dinner, planting flowers, or any other activity that helps the lungs and heart work better. Of course, it is important that when you exercise outdoors or go for a walk, you do it when the air quality is good.


Reduce outdoor exposure as much as possible when the air is polluted

Air pollution can harm anyone, regardless of age. It is important to monitor how much the air is polluted and not expose yourself to pollution to a greater extent during that period. When air pollution levels are high, it is advisable to avoid outdoor physical activity, especially walks or longer stays, as all this can have consequences on our body as a whole and not just on the lungs. To monitor pollution levels, you can use numerous applications on mobile phones that provide accurate data.

Improve the air quality in your home

Cigarette smoke, various air fresheners, chemicals used for maintaining hygiene in our living space, and the like can have a negative impact on our lungs or further exacerbate a patient’s condition. Using air purifiers with special filters can greatly improve air quality and remove harmful particles from our living space. These devices bring cleaner, healthier, and fresher air into our homes, making them an excellent ally for everyone, especially those with lung health issues.


A life with full and healthy lungs is possible with Pulse Cardiology Center

We must take care of our health and healthy habits every day, and we must pay constant attention to our lungs, which are one of the most important organs in our body. Preventive check-ups are the best way to take care of our lungs, especially if we belong to the risk groups that have an increased risk of getting lung cancer. Therefore, in November and every other month, take care of your health and schedule a check-up at Pulse Cardiology Hospital in Block A in New Belgrade, where our experts will be waiting for you and perform all the necessary preventive lung checks on state-of-the-art CT scanners and other equipment.


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