Severe asthma and lung cancer: what’s the connection?

May 22, 2023 — Did you know that cutting-edge research is shedding light on the link between highly asymptomatic? asthma and lung cancer?

About 25 million Americans have asthma, a chronic inflammatory disease of the respiratory tract it makes the the lining of the lungs swells. 5-10% of Americans with the disease severe asthma. Severe asthma is classified according to the need for medium- or high-dose corticosteroids and other long-term agents. These medications often fail to control asthma symptoms that asthmatics experience every night and most days of the week.

The inflammation caused by asthma triggers attacks when sufferers inhale allergens such as pollen, dust or pollutants.

It’s lung cancer it is also driven by inflammation in the respiratory tract, which can contribute to the development of tumors.

“Inflammation appears to be linked to malignancy,” said William L. Dahut, MD, chief scientific officer of the American Cancer Society. “Inflammation from asthma may be one reason people with asthma are more likely to get lung cancer.”

It is also characteristic of severe asthma fibroblastscells that further promote inflammation. Researcher fibroblasts are also linked to lung cancer.

“In basic lab testInvasive bronchial fibroblasts from asthma patients can activate lung cancer cells, researchers find Yi Guo, PhD, associate professor of health outcomes and biomedical informatics at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville. “Further studies are needed to explore this relationship in real patient populations.” (Guo also co-authored the new study found that people with asthma are almost one and a half times more likely to get cancer than people with good respiratory health.)

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Researcher In the UAE, it was found that patients with severe asthma are often diagnosed with lung cancer after more than 3 decades of lung cancer development. This is important because it shows that inflammation from severe asthma can contribute to long-term, low-level damage to lung tissue. The authors of the study work together with Canadian researchers it was also established that patients with severe asthma are more likely to be diagnosed with aggressive, III. or IV. stage lung cancer, and doctors may consider severe asthma as a predictor of disease risk.

Read on to review the things that put people with severe asthma at greater risk of developing lung cancer, and how to reduce that chance.

What are the symptoms of severe asthma?

THE symptoms of asthma:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • panting
  • Tension in the chest

People with severe asthma may also breathe rapidly, their heart rate may change, and they may strain their head and neck muscles when coughing or trying to get more air.

What are the symptoms of lung cancer?

Are two types of lung cancer. Adenocarcinoma occurs in 85% of patients and is also associated with a subtype called squamous cell lung cancer. Small cell lung cancer, which occurs in only 15% of patients, grows and spreads more quickly. For patients with severe asthma, “the increased risk of lung cancer does not occur in adenocarcinoma, but is more common in small cell and squamous cell,” Dahut said.

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Symptoms of lung cancer include:

  • Increasing or persistent cough
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss

Some of the symptoms of lung cancer overlap with those of severe asthma. It is important for people with severe asthma to inform their doctor of any new medication.

Is lung cancer screening necessary if you have severe asthma?

At this time, the recommendations lung cancer screening is for patients who:

  • Have a 20 pack-year or more history of smoking and
  • Smoke now or have stopped in the last 15 years and
  • They are between 50 and 80 years old

That said, risk can be very specific, so it’s important that people do what’s right for them on an individual level.

“It’s important to follow your doctor’s advice,” he said Albert Rizzo, MD, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association. “If you have a family history of lung cancer, it’s still important to review this with your doctor.”

How can you reduce your risk of lung cancer if you have severe asthma?

To reduce the risk, it is important to:

  • Keep an eye on your symptoms. Researchers in Norway recently found that patients with only partially controlled lung cancer symptoms have a higher risk of lung cancer. If your asthma symptoms are well managed, there is much less chance of lung tissue damage.
  • Ask about adjusting your medication.
    “Some studies have also shown that patients who use it have inhaled it glucocorticoids it reduces the risk of lung cancer,” Dahut said. (Glucocorticoids not only fight inflammation in severe asthma, but also in cancer.)
  • Do not smoke and avoid all secondhand smoke.
  • Make your living space safer.
    “Inspect your home.” radon gaswhich can increase the risk of lung cancer,” Rizzo said.
  • Avoid cancer-causing chemicals where you work. Diesel steamersfor example, it may be associated with a higher risk of lung cancer. Avoid hitting them during your commute by rolling up your windows in traffic.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. These foods contain strong compounds which may have a protective effect. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy and Brussels sprouts contain sulforaphane, which may reduce the risk of cancer. Leafy greens are packed with folic acid, which can also help prevent disease. Plus, think orange: Foods of this color, such as oranges, tangerines, peaches, papayas, red bell peppers and carrots, contain beta-cryptoxanthin, a pigment that is a known anti-cancer agent.
  • Practice as much as you can. Ask your doctor to recommend low-impact workouts that won’t make you short of breath.
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“The more you control your lung cancer risk factors, the more your chances can decrease,” Rizzo said. In short, there are many things you can do today to live a longer, healthier life.