Lung cancer rates have decreased in the US significantly in recent decades. But, women who usually smoked less than men often developed lung cancer – which is disproportionately high in number as far as cancer diagnosis is concerned.
The rate of lung cancer in the US has been decreasing for the last 20 years on account of development in medicines as well as awareness in people. Lung cancer has been the deadliest form of cancer in the US, but there has been much improvement in the habit of cigarette smoking in the US society. But, the benefits are not been shared equally to both the genders. Lung cancer was a men’s disease once upon a time, but it is now affecting women quite disproportionately.
Research published in ‘The New England Journal of Medicine’ (NEJM), a weekly medical journal published by the Massachusetts Medical Society, US, stated that rates of lung cancer have increased among women over the past 20 years. Diagnosis fell in case of younger women, but they are susceptible to the disease more than men.
Dr Ahmedin Jemal, co-author of the research stated that smoking habit is not the only factor for the demographic shift of lung cancer. Smoking rates of men in the US has always been higher than women, and still, the trend continues. According to a survey report of 2017 in the US, about 16% of adult men smoked in comparison to 12% of women. What is more alarming is that 15% of the people were nonsmokers among all the lung cancers diagnosed. Dr. Ahmedin Jemal had the opinion that the research revealed that some other factors are involved in contributing to the trend. Alice Berger, Assistant Member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, told that the factors are completely unknown for cancer formation.
Scientists are still incapable to find some clues for the occurrence of lung cancer. New researches have shown that the type of lung cancer mostly found among nonsmokers – disproportionately affecting women due to gene mutation. Complications of female sex and female hormones could be responsible for the disease.
Other theory focused on the ill effects of cigarettes on women who usually smoke – indicated that female biology could construct them more susceptible than men to genetic transformations caused by carcinogens found in cigarettes. If the indication was correct, then the higher percentage of women could develop cancer that pick up or maintain the habit of smoking. Apart from the US, women of many other countries have adopted addiction of cigarette smoking on a daily basis.
Confirmations of theories are still to come in the near future. But, in the meantime, doctors and patients are advocating and spreading campaigns throughout the world in various media. More and more people are joining the campaign of awareness through various social media like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc.