Thursday, 5 February 2015

Lung Cancer No. 1 Cancer Killer of Women in Wealthy Nations


It has been the leading cancer killer of American women for many years

HealthDay – Not on Site

By Steven Reinberg

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Lung cancer has overtaken breast cancer as the leading cancer killer of women in developed countries, reflecting changing smoking patterns among females worldwide, a new report shows.

Legions of women began smoking four decades ago, and the dire consequences are just being seen now in wealthy countries, the researchers explained. Lung cancer has been the leading cause of cancer deaths among men in developed countries for decades, and the leading cause of cancer death for U.S. women for some years.

The disease is almost always caused by smoking, said lead researcher Lindsey Torre, an epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society. "But it takes about two to three decades to see lung cancer deaths due to smoking, because lung cancer does take a long time to develop," she said.

"The lung cancer deaths we are seeing today really have to do with smoking trends we saw in the 1970s, when women really started to pick up smoking," Torre said.

"In many developed countries breast cancer death rates have been stable or decreasing for the past couple of decades, which is due to early detection and improved treatments," said Torre.

At the same time, lung cancer death rates worldwide have continued to increase. However, in the United States, the death rate from lung cancer has leveled off, she added.

Torre expects that as smoking rates among women decline, lung cancer rates in developed countries will also decline over the next 30 years.

In developing countries, however, lung cancer rates and deaths are expected to increase as more men and women take up smoking, Torre said. Already, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for men in developing countries, while breast cancer remains the main cause of female cancer deaths in developing countries.

The report on worldwide cancer incidence was prepared with data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer and published online Feb. 4 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

One U.S. cancer expert said he wasn't surprised by the findings.

source : Lung Cancer No. 1 Cancer Killer of Women in Wealthy Nations

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