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Lung Cancer in Younger Women Now Being Diagnosed More Frequently Than in Men

Lung Cancer in Younger Women Now Being Diagnosed More Frequently Than in Men
 (Dejan Veljkovic/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Thursday, 24 May 2018 12:23 PM

Lung cancer in younger women is now being diagnosed more frequently than in men. Particularly at risk are women aged 30 to 54.

New research shows this increasing rate for younger women compared to men has only started occurring within the last few years, but experts have no idea why.

"Women are at greater risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer than men," Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, told CBS News.

"We really don't know why this is and we are going to do further research. We have looked at smoking issues, and smoking patterns don't fully explain this."

According to The American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women but by far the leading cause of cancer death.

This is despite ongoing attempts to find a therapy that could lengthen or ultimately save lives.

And while lung cancer was previously more common in men and older patients, the year's statistics reveal a different story with an increasing rate for younger women.

In the U.S., roughly 121,680 men and 112,350 women in total were diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017, with 83,550 men and 70,500 women dying from the disease.

Baffled by the changing numbers, researchers from the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute have teamed up to conduct a nation-wide analysis of the incidence of lung cancer among people of varying age categories, ethnic groups, birth years and genders.

The prevalence of cigarette smoking was also examined in the study and yet researchers were unable to conclusively establish why they were seeing an uptick in the lung cancer among younger women.

"Smoking prevalence among women has still generally not exceeded that of men," said lead study author Ahmedin Jemal, PhD, according to CBS News.

"We do not believe sex differences in smoking behavior explain our finding of a gender crossover."

In fact, up to 20 percent of women who get lung cancer are non-smokers and, according to the American Cancer Society, about 30,000 non-smoking Americans in total died from lung cancer last year.

Researchers can only theorize why this is and are suggesting that more research be conducted to better understand the role gender plays in lung cancer risk.

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Lung cancer in younger women is now being diagnosed more frequently than in men. Particularly at risk are women aged 30 to 54.
lung cancer, younger women, frequent, diagnosis
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2018-23-24
Thursday, 24 May 2018 12:23 PM
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