Thoracic surgery, bronchologist consultation
We offer fast, high-quality diagnostics and outpatient treatment of pulmonary, gullet, mediastinal, thoracic wall diseases.
At Capital Clinic Riga medical advice is provided by dr. Artjoms Spaks
In Latvia and Great Britain certified thoracic surgeon, bronchologist.
Senior physician at Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital (CUH) Pulmonary diseases and thoracic surgery center.
Consultation and treatment on pulmonary and mediastinal formations (nonmalignant, malignant, of uncertain origin), lung cancer, formations in thymus (thymoma), mediastinal lymphadenopathy (lymph node enlargement), pleural diseases (pleural effusion, pneumothorax), gullet cancer, diaphragm abnormality, bronchiectasis, thoracic wall formation, rib fracture, as well as on underarm and palm hyperhidrosis (excess swelling) and Raynaud's syndrome.
Thoracic surgery is a brunch of medicine dealing with examination, diagnostics and surgical treatment of thoracic cavity organs. Lung cancer is one of thoracic surgery's spotlights. At the moment there is no state screening program for lung cancer early diagnosis in Latvia, therefore the prevention of the disease, actually, is our own responsibility.
"There are only two million inhabitants in Latvia, half of them smokers, therefore lung screening would be very useful. Unfortunately the more common and low-cost method – X-ray examination – is not enough effective to detect a lung cancer at an early stage. The efficiency of Computed Tomography (CT) has been shown. This method is implemented as lung cancer screening in USA, but many European countries have launched pilot projects. For example, in Poland, within the lung cancer screening program, million people are examined," says doctor Artjoms Spaks.
Very often lung cancer is discovered accidentally – a person approaches GP on some problem, an organ is CT-examined and suddenly some lung abnormality reveals.
Lung cancer is one of the most common tumors in the World. In Latvia it makes 12,5% of all diagnosed cancers a year – approximately 1000 new cases a year.
Men are five times more likely to develop lung cancer than women, although lately the number of woman with lung cancer tends to grow as well. Unfortunately for the major part of patients lung cancer is diagnosed in the late stages, resulting in a very low survival since detection – approximately 15% of lung cancer patients have 5 year survival. (In oncology treatment results are measured by the so-called five-year survival. From all of the patients with lung cancer, only 15 percent live for five years, consequently fifteen out of a hundred. But for the patients with I and II stage lung cancer, who had surgery, this number raises up to 70-80 percent, explains Artjoms Spaks). Therefore doctors keep on reminding of necessity to carry out preventive check-ups to detect disease as early as possible, thus ensuring more efficient treatment.
Lung cancer is dangerous, as it can develop causing no complaints to a patient, but when one has shortness of breath and is spitting blood, very often that means cancer cells have already spread throughout the body, originating new malignant metastatic sites and that means disease cannot be stopped anymore.
As cancer incidence is mostly smoking-related, Dr. Artjoms Spaks places emphasis on smoking cessation programs, working as a part of team with other specialists – pneumologists, general practitioners, psychiatrists etc., if necessary.
Lung cancer treatment depends on several factors:
- lung cancer type
- cancer size, location and spread
- patient's general health condition.
For patients with early diagnosed disease, several treatment methods and combinations can be applied, thus full recovery is achievable as well.
Patient's quality of life is mostly affected by cough, breath shortness, spitting blood and thoracic pain. Therefore the aim of treatment is to reduce them as much as possible.
Physicians point out, that none of the smokers is completely healthy and one of the most common diseases among them is the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), that might be the reason of pulmonary cancer growth.
Smoking is the major risk factor in COPD development and progress. The percentage of other COPD inducing risk factors, like inhaling of hazardous chemical particles or gas, congenital predisposition etc., is particularly low.
COPD has become the third most common cause of death among people over 45 years of age in the World. As the number of smokers grows, the predictions are that around 2020 COPD could be the third most frequent disease, thus surpassing all the other respiratory system diseases. Being aware that smoking is the greatest risk factor, every smoker has serious reasons to stop smoking, needless to mention the ones who have already been diagnosed COPD or have characteristic symptoms. As at the initial stage symptoms are not bothersome, the disease is diagnosed late, thus making the problem much worse. The later COPD is diagnosed, the more severe the lung damage and loss of lung function, – irreversible in COPD.
COPD key symptoms, one should seek for medical advice without delay:
- cough, mostly productive, episodic or persistent;
- shortness of breath (dyspnea) – as well can be both episodic (e.g. exertional) and persistent.
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