Lung Cancer in Women – Surprising Facts Revealed!
Let’s face it. Lung cancer in women is the leading cause of deaths related to cancer in the United States. In fact, the American Cancer Society estimates that more than 70,000 women die from this disease each year. Here are some facts you need to know regarding this dreaded disease in women:
Smoking and Lung Cancer
Many studies have already proven that the primary cause of lung cancer is cigarette smoking. According to the latest statistics, about 17% of women in the United States are smokers and this number increases every year. However, this number is still not related to the increasing number of this type of cancer in women.
In the past 80 years, the number of deaths in women in the United States increased more than 600%. Surprisingly, the numbers have stabilized recently, signifying that this type of cancer is still the top cause of deaths related to cancer in women even with the modern treatments available.
Risk Factors for Non-smoking Women
Let’s face another harsh reality that lung cancer is also diagnosed in non-smoking women. According to studies, here are the risk factors that contribute to the development of this disease in women who do not smoke:
* Genetic factors like how the body reacts to carcinogens or substances that cause cancer
* Environmental factors like exposure to secondhand smoke, dangerous gas, asbestos, and air pollution
* Hormones like estrogen
* General health and well-being
Smoking and Women
The percentage of women who smoke in the United States slightly increases every year. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 500,000 teenage girls use some kind of tobacco product. Studies conclude that most of this is because of the belief that smoking helps reduce or control weight. Another recent study in the journal of Tobacco Control considered the advertising messages from the inside of the tobacco industry and public marketing collections.
The study found that cigarette advertisements for young women are aimed at themes of friendship, freedom, independence and confidence. For older women, the theme is usually about pleasure, social acceptance, relaxation and escape from normal daily life.
So what is the implication of this study? Are women who become hooked on smoking more prone to lung cancer? Truth is, it is still unknown whether they are more likely to develop this kind of cancer from smoking compared to men.
Several studies suggest that women have a higher risk of developing lung cancer from smoking. But here’s the problem. There are also studies suggesting that regardless of gender, the risk percentage of getting cancer of the lungs due to smoking has no difference at all! Unresolved issue, huh? Listen here. It is a fact that smoking is addicting and there is a lot of evidence that it is harder for women to quit smoking compared to men.
For an unknown reason, women with lung cancer live longer than men who have the same disease. The 5-year relative survival rate for women who have cancer of the lungs is about 16% while for men it is only 12%. This is according to a recent study survival rate for this kind of cancer. Scientists and researchers are just beginning to have a clear idea how this is different in women. There is still a long way to go when it comes to understanding lung cancer in women.