Lung Cancer in American Women
Lung Cancer in American Women: Facts
Of the 213,380 cases of lung cancer diagnosed in the U.S. each year, nearly 98,000 (46%) are in women. Over 70,880 women die from lung cancer annually, accounting for 26 percent of cancer deaths among women.1
One in 16 women will develop lung cancer in her lifetime.1
Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of women in the U.S.1
Lung cancer kills 30,000 more women than breast cancer annually in the U.S.1
Lung cancer takes the lives of more women each year than breast, ovarian and uterine cancers combined.1
The five year survival rate for lung cancer is only 16 percent compared to an 89 percent five year survival rate for breast cancer.1, 2
1 in 5 women with lung cancer has never smoked (in men with lung cancer, only 1 in 10 has never smoked).1 Women who have never smoked are more at risk for lung cancer than men who have never smoked.3
Of the approximately 17,500-20,000 never-smokers diagnosed with lung cancer in the U.S. each year, more than 60 percent of them are women.4
Of the approximately 3,400 people who die from lung cancer in the U.S. annually due to exposure from second-hand smoke, 2200 (65%) of them are women.5
Some evidence suggests that women may be more sensitive than men to the cancer-causing effects of chemicals in cigarettes.6-12
Approximately 9 percent of women diagnosed with lung cancer are younger then 50 years old, compared to 7 percent of men with lung cancer.13
Women are more likely than men to get a sub-type of lung cancer called bronchioloalveolar carcinoma (BAC).13 The incidence of BAC appears to be rising worldwide.15-17
Women typically fare better than men after treatment for lung cancer.13, 18-22
Women with lung cancer are more likely than their male counterparts to have specific genetic mutations.9, 23-28 These mutations may be involved in lung cancer risk.
Research indicates that the female hormone estrogen may be involved in lung cancer risk in women.29-32
How Can I Reduce My Risk?
If you smoke, get the help you need to quit (state quitlines can be accessed at //www.naquitline.org or by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW).
If you live in an area with high levels of radon coming from the bedrock (see //www.epa.gov/radon), consider having your house tested for radon exposure. If radon levels are too high, a device can be installed to reduce them.
Eat a well-balanced diet and exercise. These activities help reduce the risk of all cancers.
If you smoke now or smoked in the past, or have a family history of lung cancer, consider speaking to your doctor about screening tests that may be available to you. Cancer is most treatable when it is detected early.
American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures 2006. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2006.
American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2005-2006. Atlanta: American Cancer Society, Inc.
Wakelee, H.A., et al., Lung Cancer Incidence in Never Smokers. J Clin Oncol, 2007. 25(5): p. 472-8.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2005. 54(25):625-628
California Environmental Protection Agency. Proposed identification of environmental tobacco smoke as a toxic air contaminant-June 2005. California Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment; 2005.
International Early Lung Cancer Action Program Investigators, Womens susceptibility to tobacco carcinogens and survival after diagnosis of lung cancer. JAMA, 2006. 296(2): p. 180-84.
Henschke, C.I. and O.S. Miettinen, Women's susceptibility to tobacco carcinogens. Lung Cancer, 2004. 43(1): p. 1-5.
Nordlund, L.A., J.M. Carstensen, and G. Pershagen, Are male and female smokers at equal risk of smoking-related cancer: evidence from a Swedish prospective study. Scand J Public Health, 1999. 27(1): p. 56-62.
Tang, D.L., et al., Associations between both genetic and environmental biomarkers and lung cancer: evidence of a greater risk of lung cancer in women smokers. Carcinogenesis, 1998. 19(11): p. 1949-53.
Zang, E.A. and E.L. Wynder, Differences in lung cancer risk between men and women: examination of the evidence. J Natl Cancer Inst, 1996. 88(3-4): p. 183-92.
Risch, H.A., et al., Are female smokers at higher risk for lung cancer than male smokers? A case-control analysis by histologic type. Am J Epidemiol, 1993. 138(5): p. 281-93.
Harris, R.E., et al., Race and sex differences in lung cancer risk associated with cigarette smoking. Int J Epidemiol, 1993. 22(4): p. 592-9.
Fu, J.B., et al., Lung cancer in women: analysis of the national Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database. Chest, 2005. 127(3): p. 768-77.
Moore, R., et al., Sex differences in survival in non-small cell lung cancer patients 1974-1998. Acta Oncol, 2004. 43(1): p. 57-64.
Jackman, D.M., L.R. Chirieac, and P.A. Janne, Bronchioloalveolar carcinoma: a review of the epidemiology, pathology, and treatment. Semin Respir Crit Care Med, 2005. 26(3): p. 342-52.
Furak., J., et al., Bronchioloalveolar lung cancer: occurrence, surgical treatment and survival. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg, 2003. 23(5): p. 818-23.
Barsky, S.H., et al., Rising incidence of bronchioloalveolar lung carcinoma and its unique clinicopathologic features. Cancer, 1994. 73(4): p. 163-70.
Kris, M.G., et al., Efficacy of gefitinib, an inhibitor of the epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase, in symptomatic patients with non-small cell lung cancer: a randomized trial. Jama, 2003. 290(16): p. 2149-58.
Fukuoka, M., et al., Multi-institutional randomized phase II trial of gefitinib for previously treated patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. J Clin Oncol, 2003. 21(12): p. 2237-46.
Alexiou, C., et al., Do women live longer following lung resection for carcinoma? Eur J Cardiothorac Surg, 2002. 21(2): p. 319-25.
de Perrot, M., et al., Sex differences in presentation, management, and prognosis of patients with non-small cell lung carcinoma. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg, 2000. 119(1): p. 21-6.
Albain, K.S., J.J. Crowley, M. LeBlanc, and R.B. Livingston. Determinants of improved outcome in small-cell lung cancer: an analysis of the 2,580-patient Southwest Oncology Group database. J Clin Oncol. 1990. 8(9): p. 1563-74.
Toyooka, S., T. Tsuda, and A.F. Gazdar, The TP53 gene, tobacco exposure, and lung cancer. Hum Mutat, 2003. 21(3): p. 229-39.
Mollerup, S., et al., Sex differences in lung CYP1A1 expression and DNA adduct levels among lung cancer patients. Cancer Res, 1999. 59(14): p. 3317-20.
Nelson, H.H., et al., Implications and prognostic value of K-ras mutation for early-stage lung cancer in women. J Natl Cancer Inst, 1999. 91(23): p. 2032-8.
Kure, E.H., et al., p53 mutations in lung tumours: relationship to gender and lung DNA adduct levels. Carcinogenesis, 1996. 17(10): p. 2201-5.
Ryberg, D., et al., Different susceptibility to smoking-induced DNA damage among male and female lung cancer patients. Cancer Res, 1994. 54(22): p. 5801-3.
Stabile L.P. and J.M. Estrogen receptor pathways in lung cancer. Curr Oncol Rep. 2004 6(4): p. 259-67.
Stabile, L.P., et al., Human non-small cell lung tumors and cells derived from normal lung express both estrogen receptor alpha and beta and show biological responses to estrogen. Cancer Res, 2002. 62(7): p. 2141-50.
Fasco, M.J., G.J. Hurteau, and S.D. Spivack, Gender-dependent expression of alpha and beta estrogen receptors in human nontumor and tumor lung tissue. Mol Cell Endocrinol, 2002. 188(1-2): p. 125-40.
Mooney, L.A., et al., Gender differences in autoantibodies to oxidative DNA base damage in cigarette smokers. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 2001. 10(6): p. 641-8.
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