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Early detection of lung cancer and COVID-19

Doktorga pregleda snimak pluća na monitoru kompjutera
COVID-19, as an infection that first attacks the lungs and heart, and then other organs, led us to start reading and listening more about medical topics, including the way to diagnose the disease. CT of the lungs appears everywhere as the most reliable measure for recognizing pneumonia caused by this virus, since the corona leaves a specific mark on the lungs. There is a good reason for that, because this diagnostic method is one of the most reliable for detecting various changes in the entire human body.

In addition to detecting viral and bacterial lung infections, the CT scanner can give us a reliable answer to the question of whether a patient has lung cancer.

 

Early detection of lung cancer

In the time when every cough and symptom of respiratory problems is first associated with Corona, it is extremely important to talk again about one of the most dangerous and fatal diseases of today, which has not disappeared, but due to circumstances has moved from the center of attention of the majority, which is lung cancer.

 

About 6,000 people get sick from this type of cancer in Serbia every year, and about 4,500 do not manage to fight it. The key in the fight against lung cancer is prevention, although as many as 90% of affected people belong to the group of smokers. If the occurrence of lung cancer is not prevented, the next important thing is early diagnosis, which is often missed because people go to the doctor when they already have pronounced symptoms and the disease is advanced.

 

For lung cancer, the stages are crucial for treatment options, the earlier it is detected, the greater the chance for cure.

 

Symptoms of lung cancer

 

The symptoms of lung cancer are numerous and different and can often be confused with symptoms that indicate other diseases. However, if we notice any, it is necessary to contact the doctor, so that he can assess whether there is a need for further analysis. The final decision and assessment of the situation should never be made by ourselves. At Pulse cardiology center, top radiology experts and fast service are waiting for you, because the body threatened by malignant diseases cannot wait.

 

The most common symptoms are:

  • persistent coughing
  • expectoration of mucus
  • loss of breath
  • chest pains when coughing
  • chest pains during breathing
  • heavy breathing
  • fatigue
  • pneumonia that cannot be cured
  • pneumonia in the same place
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss

 

Symptoms of the disease COVID-19

Some symptoms of lung cancer will be the same as symptoms of a Coronavirus infection: difficulty breathing, fatigue, shortness of breath. In addition, symptoms of loss of smell, taste, muscle pain and temperature are also associated with COVID-19.

Diagnosing lung cancer

The steps in diagnosing lung cancer are well-known and very effective due to the great experience and frequency of this disease and include some of these methods:

 

  • lung scan
  • cytopathological examination of sputum
  • bronchoscopy
  • mediastinoscopy
  • video-assisted thoracoscopy
  • lung biopsy

Which method will be chosen depends on the condition of the patient, where the lung cancer is, the stage it is in, the type.

Lung CT scan

A patient and a doctor during a CT scanner scan - Pulse Cardiology Center

Lung CT is the most reliable method for detecting changes in the lungs, regardless of whether they are infections or malignancies. This non-invasive, painless diagnostic method uses more advanced technology than an X-ray machine, so it provides significantly more accurate images, which is of crucial importance for early diagnosis of lung diseases. Whatever started to happen in the lungs, the CT scan will show.

 

In many situations, the PCR test for COVID-19 did not give a positive result, but a CT scan revealed pneumonia. In some patients, this happened even without the appearance of symptoms that would indicate inflammation.

 

There have even been cases where patients report to the scanner due to fear of the coronavirus, i.e. CT of the lungs, and the radiologist discovers cancer.

 

On the other hand, there is a greater number of situations in which patients avoid going to check-ups due to the pandemic, so their lung cancer is not detected in time.

 

What should I know about a CT scan?

A CT scanner is a machine that looks like a shallow tube inside which the bed on which the patient is placed is pulled in and moved. When the patient is in the appropriate position for imaging, the camera will rotate around him and take a large number of images. The sound of the CT scanner is noisy for some patients, but this is normal and should not bother you. You are in contact with the doctors via speakerphone the entire time the recording is taking place.

 

This recording is painless, does not take long, is not invasive, and the results are available to you immediately.

 

Is the CT scanner dangerous?

Lung scanning involves exposing that part of the body to rays that are strong, but the length of the scan is taken into account so that they do not become dangerous. Any exposure to X-rays carries with it a certain risk, but these diagnostic methods are not used without good reason, nor are they used often. When it is necessary to check whether there are malignant changes in the lungs, the danger of radiation is completely negligible in relation to the benefit brought by this method.

 

At the Pulse Cardiology Center, top experts in radiology are waiting for you: MD. Davor Mrda, MD. Matija Miljević, MD. Nikola Čolić, MD. Branislav Lukač, MD. Miloš Zakošek, MD. Dušan Bulatović, MD. Borivoje Lukić and others, who have a lot of experience in implementing this method, so you can be sure that you will only benefit after the CT scan.

Lung cancer treatment

Lung cancer is treated in several ways: surgically, with radio-therapy, i.e. radiation, and chemotherapy, more precisely with cytostatics.

 

Choosing the right method depends on many factors and is decided individually for each patient. For lung cancer, stages play one of the most crucial roles in choosing a treatment method. The patient’s condition, associated diseases and the like are also important.

 

Sometimes it is possible to combine several methods in order to improve the effectiveness of the treatment.

 

However, the later the cancer is detected, the lower the chances of recovery.

 

Treatment of pneumonia caused by the infection of COVID-19

Pneumonia caused by the Coronavirus is most often bilateral, but will not always require treatment in hospital conditions. Patients are prescribed therapy with mandatory isolation and rest. The coronavirus is very easily transmitted from person to person, and therefore it is necessary to prevent the further spread of the infection.

 

Patients who have a moderate and severe clinical picture are treated in the hospital, also with appropriate medications, and in cases of need, oxygen therapy is introduced, and in the most severe cases, mechanical ventilation is used.

 

Lung recovery after Corona is possible and fully if the doctor’s instructions are followed.

 

Risk factors for lung cancer

Lung cancer is mainly a disease of smokers. Not only smokers get sick, but they are a huge percentage. In men, 90% of patients are smokers, and in women, 80%.

 

Passive smokers are at twice the risk of people who are not frequently exposed to tobacco smoke.

 

In addition to smokers, people who work with harmful substances and gases or are often exposed to them in another way are also at risk.

 

A doctor talking to a patient - Pulse Cardiology Center

Prevention of lung cancer

Education about the dangers of smoking and the link between smoking and the likelihood of developing lung cancer is crucial. The appearance of this type of cancer largely depends on us and our habits. If we want a quality and healthy life, we have to change them.

 

We must take care of our health into our own hands. It is necessary to eat healthily, avoid the harmful habits of tobacco and alcohol consumption and regularly engage in some kind of physical activity. If we do all this, we will significantly reduce the possibility of getting sick from a large number of diseases, including lung cancer. As a certain small risk exists even when we follow the rules of a healthy life, we should cultivate the habit of systematic and preventive examinations. Examinations will enable early diagnosis and more effective treatment if a problem does arise.

 

It is of particular importance to motivate smokers, even when they do not have any worrisome symptoms, to visit a pulmonologist and check the condition of their respiratory system. Without detecting the disease at an early stage, the chances of recovery are very small. Make an appointment today. on the phone 0117555000.

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