Financial Malaysia Times – 31st May 2022
A common public misconception is that “lung cancer is a death sentence”. That is far from the truth, says consultant clinical oncologist Dr Tho Lye Mun.
Advances in science and technology have led to more options for extending the lives of those stricken with lung cancer, although patients in the later stages of lung cancer often assume they only have about six months to live.
However, Tho said the problem is gravely misunderstood by the public.
“Chemotherapy, for instance, is given in small doses at a time and it would take 10 to 30 years for another cancer to form. But the initial diagnosis is much more life-threatening if not treated,” he told FMT in an interview to mark World No-Tobacco Day.
Tobacco smoking is the most common worldwide cause of lung cancer, but in Malaysia up to 50% of patients are non-smokers, Tho said.
He said treatment for lung cancer is based on the severity of the illness and the patient’s medical history.
Another common myth is that only men get lung cancer. “This isn’t the case at all as we see women between 30 and 50 years old being diagnosed with the disease. The disease doesn’t discriminate,” said Tho.
Anand and Tho are heads of the Lung Cancer Network Malaysia (LCNM) which he said was set up to improve outcomes for the disease through greater awareness, education and advocacy.
LCNM is running a public awareness campaign ‘Hope For Survival’ to educate the public on lung diseases and also inspire new hope for survival for people living with lung cancer.
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