Lung Cancer Rates Are Now Higher for Women Than Men

Lung Cancer Rates Are Now Higher for Women Than Men

Lung cancer rates are now higher for women than men, according to a recent study.  This marks the first time this has ever occurred: Whereas the lung cancer rate in women was 12% lower than the male cancer rate from 1995-1999, from 2010-2014 the female lung cancer rate was 17% than that of men*.

The study was completed and published in May 2018 by researchers from the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute. They examined rates of lung cancer in men and women of Hispanic and white descent born since 1965. Ultimately, the study concludes that while lung cancer rates have declined for both genders, the male lung cancer rate has declined at a faster rate. Head researchers note this signals a major role reversal and a greater need for lung cancer prevention advocacy among women.

Researchers acknowledged that the study’s results also beg the question of why the lung cancer rate is suddenly higher for women than men, but this is mostly unanswerable without more data and research. Experts have, however, entertained the idea that smoking affects men and women differently. For example, even though the termination of smoking decreases the chances of a lung cancer diagnosis in both men and women, researchers think the chances decrease at a lower rate each year post-cessation.

For more information or to read the full study, check out the results here.

*Higher Lung Cancer Incidence in Young Women Than Young Men in the United States

  • Ahmedin Jemal, D.V.M., Ph.D., Kimberly D. Miller, M.P.H., Jiemin Ma, Ph.D., Rebecca L., Siegel, M.P.H., Stacey A. Fedewa, Ph.D., Farhad Islami, M.D., Ph.D., Susan S. Devesa, Ph.D., and Michael J. Thun, M.D.


Dr. Steven Lipsky

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