There are revolutionary developments in the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer!
Cancer is no longer a hopeless and incurable disease! With the new generation of targeted therapies, severe side effects are getting less and less! Every year, February 4th is recognized as “World Cancer Day” by the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to raise awareness about cancer, which is among the leading causes of death in Turkey and the world. While there is an increase in the incidence of cancer in our country, as in the whole world, a new generation of target-oriented Lung cancer treatment It gives hope to patients and their families.
According to the current cancer statistics published by the Public Health Institution of Turkey, cancer; It ranks first among the causes of death. A total of 14.1 million new cancer cases have developed in the world and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths have occurred. If the similar course of cancer continues, it is expected that 22 million new cases will emerge annually by 2030, that is, an increase of 75% in new cases according to 2008 data.
On the occasion of World Cancer Day, President of the Chemotherapy Association, who shared the latest developments in the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, which is the primary cause of cancer-related deaths in men and which affects approximately 1 million people every year, prof. Dr. Gokhan Demir, He emphasized that there are revolutionary developments in cancer diagnosis and treatment.
New developments give hope to cancer patients
Emphasizing that today there are much greater developments in the treatment of cancer compared to other diseases, prof. Dr. Gokhan Demir He said: “Cancer is no longer a hopeless and incurable disease. It is a disease that can be effectively treated if caught early. Even if it is caught in the late period, it can be turned into a chronic disease with treatments. For this reason, both cancer patients and their relatives should keep their hopes up and continue to fight this disease, albeit at an advanced level.
Because every month we come across new molecules and new targeted therapies. We are able to provide very effective disease control in many of our patients, which we used to say could not be cured. Therefore, we must look to the future with hope.”
With the new generation of targeted therapies, severe side effects are gradually decreasing.
Stating that since Lung Cancer starts to show symptoms at an advanced stage, early diagnosis is difficult and approximately 50% of the patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage. Dr. Gökhan Demir summarized the point reached in treatment as follows: “There have been revolutionary developments in the treatment of lung cancer in recent years. Chemotherapy used to be the only weapon we had, and now the number of targeted treatment options we have is increasing day by day.
We also learned that lung cancers have different genetic and molecular subtypes. Tailored treatments for these subtypes have revolutionized the treatment of lung cancer because these treatments offer a higher success rate and, on the other hand, cause far fewer side effects than chemotherapy. Every month we identify a new subtype of lung cancer and new genetic mutations. New smart, targeted drugs for these mutations then emerge.”
We can now get the immune system to recognize cancer cells
Stating that immunotherapy is another weapon in the fight against lung cancer, in addition to targeted therapies, Prof. Dr. Gökhan Demir said: “For years, we have been disappointed in immunotherapy studies because immune cells do not attack tumor cells no matter what you do, they do not see tumor cells as enemies. Today it has been revealed how these tumor cells camouflage themselves.
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When we give self-camouflaging cancer cells drugs that suppress this camouflage, the immune system works wonders and we can get a better response than chemotherapy. Probably, studies on the use of smart drugs and immunotherapy together will be on the agenda in the near future, and the number of patients undergoing chemotherapy will continue to decrease. As we understand the genetics and molecular structure of the tumor better, I think that chemotherapy will not be used at all after a while.”
There are significant advances not only in treatment but also in diagnosis.
prof. Dr. Gökhan Demir summarized the developments in the diagnosis of lung cancer: “In the past, we could only diagnose with a pathological sample taken under a light microscope. Now, molecular genetic analyzes, liquid biopsy and second generation monitoring, that is, next generation sequencing, have been added to this. In the past, only the tissue taken from the tumor was diagnosed by biopsy.
In recent years, by isolating the genetic material from cells that have been separated from tumors and lysed by liquid biopsy technology with blood, some molecular and genetic changes in that genetic material can be detected and monitored. This technology is developing rapidly because tumors constantly change their genetic structure over time. In other words, a tumor with a genetic mutation can develop a second genetic disorder after a while, and these changes should be followed very closely and continuously. Today, this is possible with liquid biopsy.”
To prevent lung cancer, a smoke-free and healthy life is essential.
Stating that there is a close relationship between smoking addiction and cancer, Prof. Dr. Gökhan Demir said the following to those who want to be protected from lung cancer: “Many studies investigating the relationship between lung cancer and smoking show that; The amount of cigarettes consumed and the number of years smoked are directly related to the occurrence of lung cancer. However, smoking less does not reduce the risk of developing cancer. Although those who smoke two or three cigarettes a day are less likely to get cancer than those who smoke twenty or thirty cigarettes, the risk of cancer is higher when compared to those who never smoked.
In order to prevent cancer, we must eat regularly and healthily. Not consuming excessive alcohol and eating a Mediterranean diet; avoiding excessively salty foods and foods containing additives; consuming plenty of vegetables, fruits, salads, olive oil foods and fish; We need to stay away from overly salted, smoked foods. Apart from these measures, it is essential to do two important things: maintaining our ideal weight and exercising regularly.”