Gurugram, 31st May 2023: In a rare case, Paras Health Gurugram reported a 35-year-old non-smoker patient from Rewari diagnosed with fourth-stage lung cancer. Air pollution has been a significant concern in this area. Doctors and healthcare centres are filled with innumerable patients suffering from various diseases by inhaling harmful substances in the air. The patient’s CT scan reports showed patches on both sides of his lungs with enlargement of lymph nodes (glands) around the heart. Doctors performed a biopsy and discovered it was an adenocarcinoma case. The patient is currently undergoing Chemotherapy.
The patient is a farmer from Rewari. Air pollution in the national capital and surrounding states- Punjab, Haryana is poor and declared to be unhealthy by the government. Working in the open for hours and hours makes people vulnerable to catching not just pulmonary but a wide range of chronic conditions.
The patient was treated in various healthcare centres for presumed chest tuberculosis (TB) for the last 5 months and was taking medications as his condition was severe during this time. Unfortunately, in the very initial diagnosis at Paras Health, the outcome reflected the advanced stage of lung cancer with a spread of the disease to different parts of the lungs with metastasis in the lymph node & bones which means that cancer had breached the boundaries. Given his state, doctors had to recommend chemotherapy & supportive treatment.
Dr. Arunesh Kumar, HOD Department of Pulmonology & Respiratory Medicine, Paras Health, Gurugram said, “It was incredibly surprising to discover that this patient, hailing from Rewari, Haryana, had no family history of lung cancer and had never smoked in their lifetime. It is important to note that the state has recently experienced a significant 9.66% rise in stubble burning, contributing to the overall pollution levels. Interestingly, this particular locality has also reported cases of asthma and other lung diseases. Upon thorough examination of the patient’s condition and test results, we realized that although their symptoms worsened over the past five months, the underlying cause was lung cancer rather than the initially suspected tuberculosis.”
“The inhalation of harmful substances present in our polluted atmosphere further complicates the progression of diseases. Since no risk factors were identified in this case, we can attribute air pollution as a significant contributing factor to the problem. In light of the discussion on lung health, the significance of World No Tobacco Day is worth mentioning. This annual event, observed on May 31st, serves as a reminder of the dangers of tobacco use and highlights the urgent need for tobacco control measures. On this occasion, let us reflect on the devastating impact of tobacco on respiratory health and reinforce the message that quitting smoking is crucial for the well-being of both individuals and communities. He added that by addressing air pollution and eliminating tobacco use, we can take significant steps toward a healthier future for our lungs”.
The doctor recommends that in the high pollution levels, that we encounter throughout the year, it is crucial for individuals to prioritize their lung health. Wearing masks can provide effective protection. Moreover, quitting smoking completely is paramount as it exacerbates the detrimental effects of pollution on lung function. Maintaining a high-protein diet, incorporating antioxidants, and consuming green leafy vegetables can contribute to the preservation of healthy lungs. It is advisable to avoid outdoor exercise during peak pollution hours and adhere to prescribed medication consistently. Among the various diseases associated with pollution, the most common ones include adult-onset asthma, allergic bronchitis, allergic rhinitis, and COPD.
Commenting on the diagnosis at Paras Health, the patient, Ishwar Yadav said “I and my family were devastated to understand my condition. It was not easy for us to figure out the situation, especially after knowing that I am in the advanced stage of lung cancer. I have always been a non-smoker and there is no history of cancer in my family hence this came to us as a shock. After struggling for 5 months, we finally thought of visiting Paras Health and fortunately, Dr. Arunesh Kumar was a great help in guiding me through every step of my diagnosis. I am grateful”.
Poor air quality has been constantly in the headlines this year, affecting many with acute to chronic conditions. While COPD is one of the growing concerns due to poor air quality, patients are suffering from eye infections, skin allergies, and cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. The vulnerable crowd and people with lung diseases are prone to catch severe impact and must stay away from heavy exertion.