DO NOT smoke. That was the advice of consultant and respiratory physician Dr Chua Keong Tiong for lung cancer prevention.

“If you are a smoker, please quit. And help those you love quit smoking.

“Smoking is not good, it causes problems from head to toe, from your brain to your heart, lungs, gut, urinary bladder, blood vessels and feet,” he said.

He also talked about keeping a healthy lifestyle by exercising and eating healthy, being stress-free and well-rested.

“By exercising, we can build our stamina. It can help boost our immune system and help maintain lung activity.

“And please support the efforts by the Health Ministry on policies to control tobacco such as increasing non-smoking areas,” he added.

He was one of the speakers at the StarLIVE talk titled “The War On Lung Cancer”, organised by The Star and Ramsay Sime Darby on Saturday at Menara Star in Petaling Jaya.

Also speaking at the event was consultant cardiothoracic (heart and lungs) surgeon Dr Anand Sachithanandan, who said most cases are detected in the later stages, such as stages three and four.“Smoking is still the single most identifiable and preventable risk for lung cancer, and a screening programme should be carried out in tandem with smoking cessation because prevention is better than cure,” he said.

One of the attendees was Derek Tan, who often attends health talks. He was also at a previous StarLIVE talk on early retirement schemes.

“My father suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and I had a colleague who succumbed to lung cancer.

“I read about the talk in The Star and wanted to learn more about the subject and the treatments available.

“It was an interactive session as attendees had the chance to ask the doctors questions,” he said, adding that he is looking forward to future StarLIVE talks.

A cancer survivor, who only wanted to be known as Mary, found out about the talk after her son read about it online.

She was glad that her queries were answered during the question-and-answer session.

“The talk was informative as the doctors explained the types of treatments available for lung cancer,” she said.

Aside from the talk, attendees also had the opportunity to take the blood oxygen saturation and lung function tests.