17 November 2020 - Clin Asst Prof Sean Loh, Consultant, Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine, CGH shared that people with COPD have a higher risk of developing lung cancer, and the risk increases for COPD patients who are heavy smokers. During the World COPD Day event organised by CGH in 2019, 25% of surveyed participants were smokers/ex-smokers, and 78% of them had not heard of COPD before.
Helina Bte, Muhammad Ridzwan Chew, Physiotherapist, Physiotherapy, CGH advised that people with COPD should lead active lifestyles by increasing their physical activity to improve their activity tolerance and muscle strength, so that their daily lives are less affected by COPD. Additionally, an active lifestyle will also help to reduce feelings of breathlessness and keep the lungs free of phlegm.
Fionn Chua, Dietitian, Dietetic & Food Services, CGH stressed the importance of observing good nutrition, as 35% of COPD patients face malnutrition, due to a higher metabolic rate and poor appetites from breathlessness. Early smoking cessation is key to preventing further irreversible lung damage, according to Feng Qi, Senior Staff Nurse, Specialty Nursing (Smoking Cessation). Certified smoking cessation counsellors may recommend options such as nicotine patches and gums to help with nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
SOURCE: LIANHE ZAOBAO, SINGAPORE PRESS HOLDINGS LIMITED, REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION