Lung Cancer Risk Higher In Smoking Women Than Men

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Lung cancer and women who smoke
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Women who smoke tobacco may be more susceptible than are men to the cancer causing effects of tobacco. Researchers studied women who smoked significantly less than men did, finding that women who smoke tobacco are diagnosed with lung cancer at a younger age. The findings show that women are more vulnerable to carcinogens in tobacco.

The findings were presented at the European Multidisciplinary Conference in Thoracic Oncology (EMCTO), Lugano, Switzerland. Swiss researchers studied 633 patients referred for lung cancer treatment between 2000 and 2005. The researchers found that women are more vulnerable to the effects of tobacco, leading to lung cancer.

Dr Enriqueta Felip from Val d'Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona, Spain says, "In the early 1900s lung cancer was reported to be rare in women, but since the 1960s it has progressively reached epidemic proportions, becoming the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States.”Several case-control studies seem to suggest that women are more vulnerable to tobacco carcinogens than men."

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Other study findings show that women survive longer than men do after being diagnosed with lung cancer. The average survival for men is 2.1 years, and for women 4.7 years. Women survive longer than men better surgery to remove cancerous lung tumors, a finding that the scientists say is positive, despite the findings that women are more susceptible to lung cancer.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States, surpassing breast cancer, yet women may not be as aware that they are more vulnerable to lung cancer.

The new study found that women are diagnosed with lung cancer at a much younger age than men are. This leads researchers to believe that women are more susceptible to lung cancer compared to men.

European Society for Medical Oncology

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