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Lung cancer catastrophic problem: experts

Xinhua, November 27, 2014 Adjust font size:

Experts have warned of the great dangers of lung cancer at a press conference in Vienna Wednesday, citing the huge global death toll the most fatal form of cancer brings, and urging preventative measures.

Speaking ahead of the Central European Lung Cancer Conference to begin in Vienna Saturday, the experts said a preventative push-back for smoking, including a general ban in restaurants and pubs, therapy to break addictions, and CT screening examinations for early detection are the most effective means of dealing with the problem.

Lung cancer specialist Robert Pirker from the Vienna General Hospital said the problem is huge worldwide, with 5,000 people dying from it every day, 1.5 million per year, and 500 million expected to die from it this century.

He said smoking is mostly to blame, with 85 percent of sufferers being either smokers or former smokers. The habit kills as many people as if 40 jumbo jets were to crash each day, something he said no government would allow to happen.

Alone in Austria, 4,000 people become sick with lung cancer each year, with a small decline in the amount of men developing the cancer, but a strong increase in women. At present 15 percent of patients can be healed, Pirker added.

Fellow specialist Andrea Mohn-Staudner said Austria has made poor efforts toward smoking prevention, in that 40 percent of the population smokes, ranking toward the bottom compared to the rest of Europe. She called the situation "shameful," and joined the other experts present in backing a total ban in restaurants and pubs.

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