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Thoracic Oncology

According to a study around 1.7 million people die annually from lung cancer world-wide: Among the cancer-conditioned deaths the lung and bronchial cancer represents thus the most frequent cause of death! 

Many people wonder what is actually treated in thoracic oncology clinics?

Thoracic oncology clinics treat diseases of the lung, pleura, lung pleura, thymus and other rare tumors of the thoracic organs.

In order to diagnose and treat successfully, interdisciplinarity and innovative as well as latest therapy options are essential! 


What exactly is Thoracic Oncology?

Thoracic cancers include all cancers that occur in the chest cavity, such as lung cancer and cancer of the trachea.  Lung cancer is by far the most common type of thoracic cancer.

The focus of thoracic oncology is on cancers of the chest : this includes a whole range of malignancies such as esophageal cancer and mesothelioma. Thoracic oncologists not only diagnose and treat these diseases, but are also involved in research to develop more effective treatments.


Symptoms of the conditions that Thoracic Oncology treats

Common symptoms that occur with conditions that thoracic oncologists treat include:

  • Coughs that do not go away or that worsen over time.
  • Worsening of a chronic cough
  • Chest pain that worsens with laughter, deep breathing or coughing
  • Coughing up blood or bloody mucus
  • Indigestion or frequent vomiting
  • Hoarseness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained loss of appetite

As can be seen here, these are all symptoms that cannot be clearly assigned to those diseases.

This, of course, makes self-diagnosis impossible, which is why it is advisable to consult a specialist as a precaution in order to rule out cancer.

At the same time, of course, it is also quite possible that the disease is not accompanied by these rather general disorders. Diagnoses are thus also made completely without signs.

Visits to the doctor and to a thoracic oncology clinic is therefore the safe way to obtain certainty.


Causes and risk factors for the diseases

Damage to genes leads to their mutation. This results in abnormal cell growth, which becomes more and more widespread.

Thoracic cancer occurs with that abnormal growth in the chest cavity. There are a number of causes of cancer that need to be differentiated.

Biological factors include genes, age as well as hormones.

Environmental factors are associated with exposure to sunlight, exposure to carcinogenic substances, etc.

In contrast, lifestyle factors such as diet, body weight and smoking play a major role in the types of cancer that thoracic oncology deals with. A frightening statistic: 90 percent of lung cancer cases are associated with smoking! 

The most important risk factor for thoracic cancer is therefore smoking. In fact, most lung cancers occur in people who have a smoking history.

The more time people really spend smoking and the more cigarettes you smoke, the correspondingly higher the risk of developing the disease.

So-called passive smoking is also incredibly dangerous and is often underestimated. When people are near other smokers, your risk increases considerably and in a significant way. "Passive smoking" causes thousands of cases of breast cancer every year.

Other previously unmentioned risk factors include:

Exposure to radiation and radioactive substances, which is why people who have been exposed to excessive UV radiation because of previous treatment for other cancers often develop breast cancer.

People who have workplace exposure to high-risk substances: For example, working with asbestos exponentially increases the likelihood of developing lung cancer.

When people are frequently and continuously exposed to carcinogens:

Heavy metals such as arsenic are carcinogens, as are coal, air pollution, and diesel exhaust.

Genetic transmission through family history of lung cancer.


Prevention of the Diseases


A whole range of listed factors can be difficult to prevent or even eliminate the risk: This is especially true for aspects such as family history, radiation, and air pollution!

This is by no means to say that everyone is not capable of greatly reducing risk:

Sounds simple enough: Don't smoke! Avoiding cigarettes and tobacco products of all kinds is by far the most effective way to reduce the risk of developing the diseases mentioned in this article.

Also, it is never too late for this: stop smoking currently, stop as soon as you can! 

The use of protective equipment is another effective means of reducing risk.

For example, using a mask to avoid inhaling coal dust or other known carcinogens already significantly reduces risk.

Reducing exposure to toxic substances in general, where and when possible, is also important. Stabilizing and strengthening your overall health over the long term through diet and regular exercise is also a critical factor!

Last but not least, have regular medical checkups to be certain and monitor closely.


Vienna International Center for Thoracic Oncology VICTO


The Vienna International Center for Thoracic Oncology VICTO, consisting of a group of renowned surgeons, oncologists and radiologists, aims to,

to offer all necessary services in connection with the treatment of malignant diseases of the thorax at the cutting edge of medical science.

Here you will be offered fast and direct access to the best diagnostic and therapeutic tools, complemented by frontline therapy of the highest quality for all types of thoracic tumors!

Our minimally invasive surgery has increasingly become a standard procedure for early stages of cancer in recent years.

Contact us today or book your online consultation in our Online Healthcare Center!