I am Dr. Arunesh Kumar, senior consultant pulmonologist. Today I am going to talk to you about Asthma. As you know in Gurgaon which is one of the most polluted cities in the world and that's official now, asthma is becoming more and more relevant with the time. Asthma is a disease which is traditionally been attached to the allergies. So, your airways become sensitive and if you inhale the pollen or the dust from outside it creates an inflammation within your lungs that produces symptoms like cough, breathlessness and characteristic whistling sound which we called wheeze. Normally, asthma is a disease of childhood but with the increasing pollution and the change of weather and change of the atmosphere as such, this is more also becoming a popular disease in adulthood as we call them adult-onset asthma. There are many varieties of asthma and we as a pulmonologist try and phenotype them as to which part of which type of asthma you have got. Asthma is very characteristic as it can get better very early as at the same time it can get worse very early.
So it's very important that we look after this disease well. Normally we prescribe bronchodilators or the pumps or inhalers as we call it to have a good control of your asthma. There are two types of pumps: one inhaler is essentially we call them preventer inhaler which you should be using every day and that keeps a tab on your diseases and doesn't let it deteriorate and another inhaler is called a delivery inhaler which you only take it when your symptoms get worse. It's important that you heed to your doctor's advice and take the inhalers regularly to keep good control of your disease. Should you notice any deterioration in your symptoms like your cough is getting worse, you are more and more breathless despite taking your inhalers, you should seek an early opinion from your pulmonologist so that things can be done early rather than waiting for too late for you to be admitted into the hospital.
In addition to the inhalers, the doctor will also prescribe you some tablets to keep your airways open and it's very important once again to keep to be compliant with the treatment. Now it's very important that patients with asthma get regular review with the pulmonologist and I recommend that if you have had a previous hospital admission you should at least be seeing your pulmonologist every 6 months. I also think that you should have asthma action plan in place which essentially tells you what you should be doing should you lose the control of your disease, which essentially tells you to keep a tab on your disease and seek early medical help if required. Now if you have got a diagnosis of asthma and if you are a smoker, you should think about stopping smoking as there is evidence now that if you are a smoker and have got asthma there is every chance that your asthma can turn into COPD which is relatively worse disease than asthma. It is also very important that you should keep up to date with your vaccinations. So there are two vaccinations available for patients with asthma: one is a pneumococcal vaccine which is of two types: one lasts for lifelong and another one which you repeat every 5 years and a flu vaccine which you take every year. Once again if the crux of the asthma management is being compliant with the treatment and be in contact with the pulmonologist regularly. I hope that my this talk helps you with your asthma disease control.
Thank you very much!read more
My name is Dr. Arunesh Kumar. Today I am going to talk to you about a burning problem called lung cancer. As the name sounds very worrying this is a condition this is a cancer of the lungs which unfortunately when diagnosed most of the time it is in an advanced stage. The symptoms of lung cancer are a cough which is not responding despite adequate treatment for more than 3 weeks, coughing up blood, losing unintentional weight loss, noticing lumps and bumps in your body and progressively breathlessness and hoarse voice. As you'd imagine lung cancer is a diagnosis of exclusion and we as a physician have to have a very high index of suspicion if that's the case. One of the most and biggest risk factors of lung cancer is smoking.
If somebody has smoked for more than 20 pack years then it is a risk factor for lung cancer. If somebody if you smoke and have had any of the warning symptoms of lung cancer an early medical help needs to be taken. The first most important investigation which we do in these cases is a chest X-ray. Chest X-ray is a very easy and important and well available tool to tell us if something wrong is going on in the lungs. There are enough data worldwide now where we see that lung cancer when diagnosed is mostly in an advanced stage which is called stage 4. There are different types of lung cancers. Some type of lung cancers are associated with smokers and others don't. Apart from smoking, the pollution and different trade one works in have also been incriminated. Early diagnosis of cancer and early management is crucial to it. Early stages of lung cancer can be nearly cured with surgeries as the affected part of the lung can be taken off via surgical methods.
The later stages are managed with surgery as well as chemotherapy and radiotherapy which we decide in conjunction with the oncologist. The most single important thing in lung cancer is to diagnose it early and hence there is a high time that the public gets aware of the possible symptoms of this disease. If there is an early presentation the treatment is also good. So, I hope my this talk increasing the awareness about lung cancer. If you or in your surrounding come across these symptoms please see the pulmonologist at the nearest opportunity of your own.
Thank you very much!read more