If you are a tuberculosis patient, then beware! For you have 11 times higher chance of falling prey to lung cancer than your non-tuberculosis counterparts. A new study conducted by China Medical University suggests that tuberculosis patients run a greater risk of getting afflicted with lung cancer.
Though, the researchers are still at a loss to clearly associate cancer with tuberculosis, the latest study does furnish evidence of enhanced lung cancer risk among people with tuberculosis. This study has been published in the January issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.
Nearly 1 million patients were selected by Hospital in Taiwan and the researchers at China Medical University to carry out a study. These patients were covered under the country’s National Health Insurance program. The patients of age 20 or above were categorised into two groups:
1. Exposed cohort (those with a fresh diagnosis of tuberculosis between 1998 and 2000)
2. And non-exposed cohort (those without any tuberculosis history).
They excluded patients who were already suffering from cancer. Thus, 716,872 adults were selected of which 4480 were the exposed cohorts and 712,392 were the non-exposed cohorts.
Both the groups were kept under observation from 2001 to 2007. Later, the study showed that the death rate was higher in the exposed cohort group who were 10.9 times more likely to develop lung cancer.
Dr. Chih-Yi Chen, one of the researchers, stated that this study directs attention to the lesser-known fact that tuberculosis patients need to be evaluated from time to time as they are much more susceptible (11 times more) to lung cancer. Furthermore, if any tuberculosis patient also suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease then the vulnerability increased to as high as 16 times.