Lung Cancer Day: Why India Should Focus On Prevention And Home Care?

Lung Cancer Day: Why India Should Focus On Prevention And Home Care?
Lung Cancer Warning Signs That May Appear First Thing In The Morning

As we unite on World Lung Cancer Day, we must stand firm in our commitment to prevent this disease and enhance home care for those affected.

Written by Tavishi Dogra |Updated : August 1, 2023 5:54 PM IST

World Lung Cancer Day 2023: Lung cancer casts a long shadow over India's health landscape, claiming more lives than any other form. As per data, lung cancer accounts for all cancer cases and related deaths in India. While these numbers are lower than the global average, the incidence of lung cancer is rising at an astonishing pace, and the number of patients might grow by up to 7 times by the end of 2025 itself. As we approach World Lung Cancer Day, we must look deeply at the current scenario and address this growing epidemic comprehensively. Dr Vishal Sehgal, President of Portea Medical, emphasised prevention and home-based care, two of India's most essential components in the fight against lung cancer.

Understanding The Causes

Several causes are driving the alarming prevalence of lung cancer in India. Smoking, consumption of tobacco, indoor and outdoor air pollution, and passive smoking (adenocarcinoma) are the leading causes of the disease. Another major cause is misdiagnosis, as the similarity of symptoms in many cases leads to the condition being wrongly diagnosed as pulmonary tuberculosis. What makes the matter worse is that the detection is usually very late (Stage 3 and Stage 4), and more than half of the people diagnosed with lung cancer are unlikely to survive.

Prevention To Combat Lung Cancer

As we address the menace of lung cancer, prevention should take precedence as a powerful weapon. It is the most economical and empowering form of cancer care as it ensures the quality of life, keeping productivity intact. The critical preventive measures include the following.

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  1. Occupational safety Certain industries risk more significant exposure to carcinogens than others. Employers must take measures to reduce such disclosure and provide proper protective gear alongside the implementation of safe practices to safeguard workers' health.
  2. Quitting smoking Encouraging and supporting individuals to quit smoking continues to be the most effective preventive measure. Public awareness campaigns and access to smoking cessation programmes are vital in this direction.
  3. Indoor air pollution management By adopting cleaner cooking fuels and ensuring good ventilation at homes and workspaces, it is possible to mitigate the risks of indoor air pollution and lung cancer.

Home Healthcare: A Pillar Of Compassion And Symptom Management

The battle against lung cancer can't be fought without the integration of home healthcare. Home-based care serves as a beacon of compassionate and personalized support, especially for patients undergoing chemotherapy and grappling with the challenging symptoms of the disease. With advanced technologies, it is now possible for home healthcare providers to offer integrated care within the home environment, easing the burden and improving the quality of life for the patients in the process.

  • Medication management Managing medications during chemotherapy regimens is not only complex but can also be overwhelming. Home care professionals educate patients and their caregivers about the importance of adhering to medication regimens and the potential side effects of prescribed drugs. They can offer timely medication reminders to prevent missed doses or incorrect usage. Further, they also monitor patients for any adverse reactions to medicines and would promptly report concerns to the healthcare teams for timely interventions.
  • Patient safety and comfort Home healthcare providers specialize in creating a safe and comfortable patient environment. For those with mobility challenges, they can offer physical support and assistive devices to enhance mobility and freedom. Home assessments are done to identify potential fall hazards and implement necessary modifications to ensure patient safety. Further, they also educate family members and caregivers about providing optimal care and support for the patient's well-being.
  • Emotional and psychological support Dealing with an ailment like lung cancer can be an incredibly draining experience emotionally, not just for the patients but their families as well. Through compassionate listening, home healthcare providers offer emotional support, counselling, and coping strategies for the patients to navigate through challenging times.
  • Fatigue management Lung cancer and its treatment can cause severe fatigue and significantly reduce a patient's ability to engage in daily activities. Home healthcare providers design personalized strategies to manage fatigue, including rest and activity schedules, nutrition guidance, and energy conservation techniques.

  • Symptom management Lung cancer can cause several distressing symptoms, such as debilitating pain, breathlessness, and fatigue, and there can also be severe side effects of chemotherapy. Home healthcare providers help manage these symptoms and offer comfort and relief when needed.
  • Breathlessness management Shortness of breath is a significant concern for people with lung cancer. Home care professionals equip patients with breathing techniques, exercises, and oxygen therapy to enhance their respiratory functions and ease breathlessness.
  • Nutritional support Proper nutrition is vital for lung cancer patients as it helps build strength and immunity. Home healthcare professionals work closely with patients to develop balanced and nutritional meal plans tailored to individual dietary preferences and needs.
  • Pain management Home healthcare providers work closely with oncologists to devise customized pain management plans, ensuring patients receive appropriate medications and therapies to alleviate their discomfort.

The Future Of Lung Cancer Care

Combating lung cancer is of utmost importance, and the future offers a lot of hope and promise. Developments of advanced medical technologies and devices, such as the groundbreaking AIIMS "e-nose," present a potential game-changer opportunity for early detection with exceptional accuracy. It is an innovative device with an inbuilt algorithm to detect the patterns of the volatile organic compounds exhaled by people. VOCs are usually alkanes and benzenes-type chemicals found in human breath, but the composition of the chemicals varies from one person to another and from disease to disease. By identifying the pattern for lung cancer, the device can detect the disease by simply running the exhaled breath through the multiple sensors that it has to measure the VOCs. This kind of innovation opens doors for early detection and practical as well as timely interventions, significantly elevating the prospects of improved patient outcomes. Further, emerging options such as targeted therapies, immunotherapy, and gene therapy are highly promising in defeating lung cancer. These can revolutionize cancer care, offering personalized and tailored patient therapeutic approaches.


As we unite on World Lung Cancer Day, we must stand firm in our commitment to prevent this disease and enhance home care for those affected. By empowering individuals to proactively take steps toward prevention and building a supportive home care environment with innovations and advancements in care, we can create a healthier, lung-cancer-free India!