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Screen On Cancer
All you know about cancer screening...




Your health in your hands.

Worldwide, lung cancer is the most common and deadliest cancer.

Do you know that :
- lung cancer, the killer n°1, is leading site of cancer death ?
- there were 157 000 deaths by lung cancer in the US in 2003 ?
- passive smoking may speed cancer growth ?
- 87% of lung cancer patients smoked, but 13% never smoked ?
- only 1 of 9 smokers will develop lung cancer, not the 8 other ones : are you among the lucky ones?
These figures come from the most important cancer societies, as the ACS and the NCI (American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute). Biomarkers? features important information about lung cancer and smoking :
heavy smokers are far more likely than non- smokers to develop diseases such as lung cancer.
- no serious study has ever shown that casual cigar smoker (<5 cigars/wk, not inhaled) has an increased incidence of lung cancer.
- occasional cigarette use (<1 pk/wk) has never been shown to be a risk factor in lung cancer.
- certain types of pollution are more dangerous than second hand smoke.

To clear one's own mind, performing serious exams, such as our Biomarkers C12 test , should be advised. Do it, your life is at stake.

1) Epidemiology:
lung cancer is the "number one killer": the most widespread cancer worldwide, it's still on the increase. Nevertheless, indisputable advances have been achieved over recent years as far as therapeutics are concerned. This cancer is undoubtedly due to tobacco use, this use having started in western countries since the second world war. It represents 20% of all cancers in North America , versus only 1 to 2% in Africa . Please note that it is becoming more common among women, because of their changes in smoking habits : lung cancer is becoming a bigger problem in women every year. If the current trends continue, in 10 to 15 years, there will be as many cases of lung cancer in women and men : the incidence will be identical, while it was 3.5:1 (3 more times for men) in 1975, and 1.5:1 in 1999. The medium age of diagnosis is 66 years.

Lung cancer has a bad prognosis, because it is generally diagnosed too late: when diagnosed at advanced stages, 50% of all cases show metastases. More people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.

In 2004, there will be an estimated 173,770 new cases of lung cancer in the United States : 93,110 cases among men and 80,660 among women, according to the American Cancer Society. An estimated 160,400 deaths, accounting for about 30% of all cancer deaths, are expected to occur in 2004.

2) Risk factors:
- smoking, or exposure to tobacco's effects: smoking is - either active: people smoke; - or passive: people close to smokers: the risk lies in breathing the others' smoke. The risk is higher with cigarettes than cigars and pipe.
- exposure to industrial risks: asbestos is the most common known; radon gas, cadmium, nickel, industrial chemicals, tars, soots.
- exposure to important atmospheric pollution. And risks of cancer augment significantly when smokers are exposed to these industrial risks and pollution.
- there are probably genetic predispositions: only one smoker out of ten will develop a lung cancer, not the nine other ones.

3) Cancer Development:
lung cancer is divided into two main types: the "small cells lung cancers" (SCLC), and the "non- small cells lung cancers" (NSCLC); respectively 25% and 75%.
The malignant growth is brought upon by lung cells that are victims of a deregulation of their growth factors. This deregulation comes from genetic abnormalities of suppressive tumor genes (anti- oncogenes). Metastases, when they occur, will be on bones, liver, brain.

4) Symptoms:
- blood in sputum: hemoptysis;
- chronic cough;
- broncho- pulmonary infection that does not heal with treatment;
- hoarseness, weakness, weight loss;
- bone pain, back pain, pleural effusion.

5) Diagnosis of lung cancer:
- chest X- ray remains important, but often too late; low dose/high resolution CT screening should be regularly performed.
But the most effective strategy includes:ultrafast 64- Slice MSCT body scanner, and our most original check- up blood test " Biomarkers C12 test ".
- fibroscopy, allowing biopsies;
- chest scan, upper abdomen scan, bone scan, brain scan; and Petscan (Positron Emission Tomography), main exam in lung cancer today;
- CT guided needle aspiration, for any peripheral tumoral lump;
- sputum cytology;
- tumor marker dosages: CEA , plus NSE for "small cells lung cancers", and Cyfra 21- 1 for "epidermoidis" lung cancers.

6) Treatment of lung cancer:
- surgery: specific to localized tumors;
- radiation therapy: used as adjuvant treatment when surgery cannot be complete, and also in small tumors that cannot be relieved;
- chemotherapy: adjuvant treatment before or after surgery, especially in metastatic stages, because patients rapidly develop local or distal metastases;
- chemoradiation: in non- resectable forms;
- tumor marker dosages: absolutely essential: enabling simple treatment follow- up, especially during chemotherapy, and signalling the need to modify these treatments when new cell clones appear. Several tumoral cells types can coexist in one tumor in the case of lung cancer: an efficient chemotherapy on the dominant cell clone can destroy this particular type, but could select an other one that would then become dominating: during such treatment tumor marker utilisation is an essential element of monitoring: NSE and Cyfra 21- 1 are of the utmost importance.

7) Post- treatment follow- up:
- radiographic studies;
- tumor marker dosages: the upswing of one or several tumor marker values can occur several months before relapse. This follow- up has to take place every month, then every three months.
8) Prevention:
NO SMOKING. Smoking cessation lowers lung cancer risk after 10 years.
Low dose/high resolution CT screening, combined with tumor markers assays, should largely improve the lung cancer prognosis.

The above- mentioned tumor markers are part of the Biomarker C12 test ; performing this panel once a year is highly recommended.

Cancer can be detected : do it NOW.

Lung Cancer