[Pulmonary carcinoma nowadays: notes on epidemiology, primary prevention, and therapeutic planning].

  • Gaeto Motta
  • Published 1995 in Annali italiani di chirurgia


Among the solid malignancies, lung cancer is today the most common cancer in the world (850,000 new cases during 1990). Moreover, with an estimated increase of about 5 percent a year, it now represents the first cause of mortality for cancer in both sexes. The evidence of a close relationship between lung cancer and cigarette smoking was first pointed out by E. Graham in 1950. Since then, the responsibility of active cigarette smoking in determining lung cancer as well as that of nicotine causing addictiveness, have been assessed clearly. Nevertheless primary prevention, mainly through the campaign against cigarette smoking, has always faced great difficulties because it clashes with the economic power and interests of tobacco companies. Moreover the epidemiologic trends show a progressive increase of the disease with a silent epidemic-like worldwide diffusion, in close similarity to AIDS. So, more than 5 million new cases a year of lung cancer are expected to appear at the beginning of 2000. The primary prevention against the major factor of risk-the cigarette-is mainly based, in developed countries, through the following official measures: i) a heavy taxation on the finished goods; ii) the conversion of the tobacco growing to other crops and iii) the package-based health information for all tobacco products. On the other side, while waiting for new effective chemoprevention methods, the need of getting a true early clinical diagnosis of tumor is emphasised. Only by this means is it indeed possible to improve the rate of cure through performing conventional resections of those cancers which could be discovered in still limited clinical stage. In the same time, a strong effort for radically operating Stage III locally advanced cancers, is also attempted through the newer tracheobronchoplastic procedures as well as the other over extended resections done directly in the mediastinal area. The neoadjuvant radio and/or chemotherapy combined treatments preceding surgery are also of great clinical interest. Finally the active palliative support aimed at improving the quality of life in patients affected by incurable tumors, represents a fast developing clinical project where a great ethical meaning is pre-eminent above all.

Cite this paper

@article{Motta1995PulmonaryCN, title={[Pulmonary carcinoma nowadays: notes on epidemiology, primary prevention, and therapeutic planning].}, author={Gaeto Motta}, journal={Annali italiani di chirurgia}, year={1995}, volume={66 3}, pages={301-10} }