Smokers with pneumonia at higher risk of lung cancer

New York: Smokers hospitalised for pneumonia are at higher risk of getting diagnosed with lung cancer within one year, says a new study.

The findings suggest that screening heavy smokers admitted to the hospital for pneumonia could facilitate the early diagnosis of lung cancer and thereby reduce the incidence of mortality.

Lung cancer incidence was found to be significantly higher in patients admitted with upper lobe pneumonia. They also found that the lung cancer was located in the lobe affected by pneumonia in 75.8 percent of cases.

“Considering that only 0.5-one percent of smokers without pneumonia have a chance of being diagnosed with lung cancer every year, the fact that nine percent of our study group developed lung cancer is alarming,” Shepshelovich noted.

“Only 15 percent of lung cancer cases are detected at an early stage. We want to increase that number in order to reduce mortality or, at the very least, extend lives,” Shepshelovich said.

The study was published in the American Journal of Medicine.

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