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World Lung Cancer Conference: The problem of lung cancer is still underestimated
Health experts say several million people worldwide have lung cancer without knowing it. Over 80 percent of those affected die from lung cancer. Thousands of experts share their views at the World Lung Cancer Conference.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death
Although life expectancy with cancer has increased across Europe, around one in four people in the European Union still die from cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Europe. This disease is also so dangerous because it is often only recognized late, because symptoms of lung cancer are often not noticed. At the World Lung Cancer Conference in Vienna, around 6,000 experts exchange ideas on the subject.
An avoidable tragedy
Robert Pirker, Viennese lung cancer specialist (MedUni Vienna / AKH) and President of the Congress said according to a message from the APA news agency: “Lung cancer is the most important cancer worldwide. It is an avoidable tragedy. "
At a press conference, he pointed out the still oppressive numbers: “Lung cancer is diagnosed annually in around 1.8 million people worldwide. That is the population of Vienna. 1.6 million people, or about 85 percent of them, die from lung cancer. "
Do something about smoking
When it comes to strategies against lung cancer, the main point is that more needs to be done to stop smoking. Experts believe that around 85 percent of illnesses are related to tobacco use. That is why stricter anti-smoking laws are always required.
Not only because of the increased risk of various types of cancer, but also because smoking is considered a significant risk factor for numerous other diseases, such as smoker's lung or smoker's cough, asthma, chronic bronchitis, heart attack and stroke.
Stigmatization of the patients
At the start of the congress, however, the experts at the World Lung Cancer Conference stated that simply blaming the smokers involved would stigmatize the patients and prevent adequate awareness-raising among the population.
Giorgio Scagliotti, Italian lung cancer expert and leading representative of the International Association for Research on Lung Cancer (IASLC), which is responsible for the conference in Vienna, said: “Smoking as a traditionally recognized cause of lung cancer made it easy to blame patients assign. Currently, however, the majority of lung cancer patients are people who have quit smoking. ”
In his opinion, the removal of blame and more financial means to fight the disease are needed. (ad)