A recent study revealed that people who smoke and are diagnosed with pneumonia have a higher likelihood of developing lung cancer.
The researchers, composed of teams from Israel’s Rabin Medical Center and the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, considered lung cancer to be a serious disease that needs a cost-effective cure. “Previous studies have shown that a low-dose radiation CT scan conducted once a year on heavy smokers has the potential to lower lung cancer mortality rates… But this requires huge resources, and we still don’t know how it will perform in real-world conditions, outside of strictly conducted clinical trials,” said study lead author Dr. Daniel Shepshelovich in a news article.
Hospital records of heavy smokers from 2007 to 2011 were used by the research team to match pneumonia findings with lung cancer development. Results showed that 9 percent of smokers with pneumonia were found with lung cancer.
Although the number doesn’t seem too big, the researchers emphasized the proportion of this group to the percentage of people diagnosed with pneumonia. “Considering that only 0.5 to 1 percent of smokers without pneumonia have a chance of being diagnosed with lung cancer every year, the fact that 9 percent of our study group developed lung cancer is alarming,” Shepshelovich added.
The study lead author believes that early intervention is the primary key to curing the disease. “Lung cancer is truly aggressive. The only chance of recuperation is if it’s caught before it begins to cause any symptoms at all. The idea is to find the tumor well in advance,” he expressed.