Findings presented at the European Multidisciplinary Conference in Thoracic Oncology
(EMCTO), Lugano, Switzerland, shows that women are more vulnerable to lung cancer from smoking tobacco, compared to men.
Researchers compared lung cancer rates among men and women, finding that women who smoked significantly less than men were diagnosed earlier with lung cancer, showing that women are more vulnerable to carcinogens in tobacco.
The study examined 633 men and women with lung cancer between 2000 and 2005, referred for treatment to a cancer centre in St Gallen. Women were found to develop lung cancer at a younger age, even though they smoked significantly less tobacco than men, leading the researchers to conclude that women are more vulnerable to developing lung cancer from smoking tobacco.
According to Dr Enriqueta Felip, “Several case-control studies seem to suggest that women are more vulnerable to tobacco carcinogens than men”. Dr. Felip, from Val d'Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona, Spain, co-chaired the EMTCO conference, also pointing out that lung cancer has become much more prevalent among women, compared to the early 1900’s.
Other research shows that women survive longer than men after surgery for lung cancer. Though women are more vulnerable to lung cancer, survival rates compared to men are longer - 2.1 years for men, and 4.7 years for women. Those findings are taken from a study of 540 patients, 239 of whom were women who had surgery for non-small-cell lung cancer, and followed for ten years.
The study shows that women are more vulnerable to lung cancer from smoking tobacco, but that survival rates are better for women diagnosed with lung cancer, compared to men.
Awareness of breast cancer is prevalent among women. The new findings show that women are more vulnerable to developing lung cancer, diagnosed at a younger age, compared to men.
Researchers also note that lung cancer has become the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States, reaching epidemic proportions since the 1960's, correlating with the findings that women are more vulnerable to the effects of carcinogens in tobacco.
European Society for Medical Oncology
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