Lung cancer: Difference between TB and lung cancer

Jagdish Tandia


What is TB?

If a person is suffering from a cough that is not stopping for more than 3 weeks, in which both dry and wet mucus is coming, then that cough may be TB. It is an infectious disease that is transmitted from person to person by coughing and sneezing. Let us know what is the difference between TB and lung cancer.

Symptoms of TB (Tuberculosis)

Pulmonary TB often occurs in very young children or older people. These symptoms of TB are seen in children and adults: –

  1. Persistent cough. Dry cough in the beginning. Later on, coughing up blood also starts coming out. This is the main symptom.
  2. The germs of TB travel very quickly from the lungs of the child to other parts of the body. Due to this, mild fever always remains in children. The child starts sweating while sleeping at night.
  3. In TB, the child becomes lethargic due to cough and fever in the child. He gets tired very quickly even after walking and playing a little.
  4. In TB, the child does not feel hungry. He is not interested in eating. That’s why the weight of the children decreases.
  5. Due to the delicate skin of children, the chances of getting skin infections are increased.

These symptoms are usually seen in a TB patient:-

  • fatigue without exertion
  • coughing up blood in the sputum
  • fever
  • night sweats
  • chest pain while breathing
  • shortness of breath
  • loss of appetite and aversion to food
  • persistent weight loss
  • muscle pain (damage)
  • back stiffness
  • stomach ache
  • diarrhea

What is lung cancer?

When a prolonged and unaccountable cough shows signs of blood along with mucus, it is the most accurate way to diagnose lung cancer.

lung cancer symptoms

  1. prolonged cough
  2. Pain in chest
  3. difficulty breathing
  4. coughing up blood
  5. feeling very tired all the time
  6. weight loss for no reason
  7. loss of appetite
  8. hoarseness
  9. headache
  10. bone pain

Difference between TB and lung cancer

Difficulty in breathing, chest pain, and bleeding with phlegm or mucus are signs of lung cancer. By the way, usually, there are similar symptoms of TB, in which patients start TB treatment due to lack of knowledge.

When he is kept under observation by doctors and if the patient does not get relief from TB medicine for two or three weeks, then it is presumed that he has lung cancer. Revealed a report by AIIMS, Delhi It is estimated that 75% of lung cancer patients are those who have been previously infected with TB.

Lung cancer is most likely to occur in people who smoke or spend time in a smoke-filled place, such as a factory, mill, factory. This report also came out in this report that people who are 25 or more in a month If you consume more cigarettes than this, the risk in them increases greatly.

There is much in common between tuberculosis (TB) and lung cancer. This is the biggest reason why people are not able to differentiate between them, it is difficult for them. Because of this, many times people misunderstand TB as cancer and keep treating cancer as TB.

But some subtle differences separate these two, so there should never be any confusion between these two. However, in both these diseases, such symptoms are seen with prolonged cough, coughing up blood, heavy voice.

Testing is very important before treatment

But keep in mind, if you are suffering from TB, then you must get your sputum tested once before getting treated for it. In the test, it is seen whether AFB bacteria are seen inside the scrotum. If it is seen then it is a symptom of lung cancer and if the bacteria is not visible then it is not cancer but it is a symptom of TB, so it is important to always get tested before the treatment of TB.

India is the country where lung cancer causes the highest number of deaths. According to the report of AIIMS, Delhi, about 90 percent of the people of the country come for treatment when they are in the second or third stage of cancer. The reason for this is the lack of information, due to which in most cases people keep getting treatment for TB in lung cancer, due to which there is a delay.

Cancer screening with TB very important

Dr. Gaurav, associated with the Lohia Institute, said that in the year 2018-19, about 7 thousand cases of lung cancer were reported across India. Symptoms of lung cancer are cough, mucus, chest pain, loss of appetite, fever, headache, lack of sleep, weakness.

In its later stage, symptoms like bleeding with mucus, pain in bones are seen. The thing to understand is that all these symptoms are visible even after having TB, so it is necessary to get tested for cancer along with TB and especially when the effect is not visible even after taking medicine in TB.

What do the doctors say?

The patient should keep in mind that if his cough is not getting better even after taking medicine, then it is a matter of concern. It could be TB or lung cancer. If the patient is taking TB medicine continuously for 1 month and TB is not getting cured, then he should immediately see a cancer specialist.

Doctors say that it is very sad that people in India do not get treatment for TB until it becomes cancer and when cancer reaches an advanced stage, then they start treatment, but till then It is too late, the cancer has spread completely.

But if the patient starts treatment in time, then lung cancer can be identified and cured through surgery, but sadly it happens in very few cases.

Liquid biopsy is the best treatment

The country’s senior cancer specialist Dr. Aman Sharma says that if the patients with lung cancer come in the first stage, then it is possible that 90 percent can be completely cured. He further added that liquid biopsy has been very successful in lung cancer. Earlier this system was not there in our country, but now it is available in metros and big cities. Now slowly people have started knowing it and that is why it is also being publicized. Earlier cancer patients had to face many difficulties in the investigation but now it is very easy.