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Fatal illness to the body and unhealthy for the wallet — Lung cancer


The top five most common cancers in Hong Kong are colorectal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer and liver cancer, with the highest mortality rate being lung cancer. According to the Hong Kong Cancer Registry 2018 report, the number of deaths due to lung cancer in Hong Kong was as high as 3,853, accounting for 26.4% of the overall mortality rate in Hong Kong.

No apparent symptoms in early stages of lung cancer

Most patients with early-stage lung cancer are inadvertently discovered to have the illness by their doctors during chest X-ray examinations. The following symptoms may occur as the disease progresses.

·       Fever

·       Persistent cough

·       Loss of appetite and weight loss 

·       Difficulty in breathing

·       Recurrent pneumonia or bronchitis

·       Persistent chest, shoulder, or back pain

·       Hoarseness caused by cancer cells pressing on the vocal cords

·       Fatigue

·       Swelling of the neck and face

Lung cancer treatment costs up to $50,000 per month

Depending on the severity, type, size and location of the lung cancer , the patient will be offered different treatment methods:


Targeted Therapy



A targeted drug is a type of medicine used to treat cancer. It treats and alleviates the disease by interfering with the growth and survival of cancer cells through specific molecules (known as “targets”).

Immunotherapy is a relatively new method of cancer treatment in recent years.

Immunotherapy uses drugs to induce the autoimmune system to attack cancer cells to achieve cancer control.
If the lung cancer tumor is large, distant from the center of the chest cavity, and has not yet spread or has spread to a very limited extent, the surgeon will consider excisional surgery to treat the cancer. There are 3 types of resection methods:

(1)Wedge resection: Removal of a small part of the lung

(2)Sublobar resection: Removal of one lobe of the lung

(3)Pneumonectomy: Removal of the entire lung

Chemotherapy is the use of special anti-cancer (toxic cell) drugs to destroy and disrupt the growth and division of cancer cells, mostly in patients with small lung cancer cells.
Treatment CostApproximately HK$14,000 – $50,000 per month (depending on the target drug) (including consultation fee and consultation fee)Approximately HK$30,000 – HK$60,000 per dose
Approximately HK$13,000 – HK$14,000 (including doctor’s fee, rounding fee, anesthesiologist fee, etc.)
HK$6,000 – HK$ 20,000 per treatment
Treatment DurationAbout 8-13 monthsAbout 6 months – 24 monthsN/A6 treatments
Side effectsNausea and vomiting, skin problems, diarrhea, hepatitis and liver enzyme elevation, blood clotting and wound healing problems, high blood pressure, etc.Headache, mouth sores, skin problems, nausea, fatigue, body aches and painsN/AVomiting, hair loss, mouth ulcers, diarrhea, low white blood cells, susceptibility to infection
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