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`Lung cancer tops in cancer-related deaths'

K.V. Kurmanath

Hyderabad , April 27

A CENTURY of smoking has made lung cancer the commonest cancer, says a leading oncologist.

"Hundred years ago it was not a common cancer. A century of smoking has changed it all, making lung cancer a common cancer," Dr T. Raja, a consultant oncologist at Apollo Cancer Hospital (Chennai), said.

Dr Raja, who was in the city to speak on the `Role of Gefitinib in the treatment of lung cancer', told Business Line that lung cancer topped in cancer-related deaths.

He said a blanket ban on smoking would reduce the incidence by 80 per cent. The problem with this cancer variant was that 70-80 per cent of the cases came in advanced stages.

He said about 70 per cent of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was inoperable. There was no standard chemo for NSCLC. The goal was to increase response rates and prolong survival, he said.

Speaking on the efficacy of Gefitinib, he related some cases where he administered the drug, which would cost Rs 1 lakh per month. He, however, said multi-national companies were offering this drug freely for some on compassionate grounds.

The lecture was organised by the city-based pharmaceutical company Natco Pharma Ltd. The company has recently launched Geftinat (gefitnib tablets) at "affordable" prices.

More Stories on : Health | Andhra Pradesh

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