Lung cancer rates in young US women exceed men, despite fewer smokers

Researchers say more study is needed to solve the mystery of why lung cancer rates of women born since 1960 now exceed those of men

Reversing a historic trend, rates of lung cancer among younger white and Hispanic women have surpassed those of men - and the change can not be fully explained by gender differences in smoking behavior, researchers said Wednesday. Lung cancer occurrence rates for any age groups of ladies and males assembled amongst blacks and Asians/Pacific Islanders and crossed to female predominance amongst Hispanics ages 40 to 49, inning accordance with the research study authors. There's some evidence with African-Americans who smoke fewer cigarettes per day yet have higher lung cancer rates than other groups, he said.

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

"The historical patterns of higher incidence rates of lung cancer among men than among women have reversed among non-Hispanic whites and Hispanics born since the mid-1960s and are not fully explained by sex differences in smoking behaviors", said the report.

They do have at least one hypothesis.

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.

Another reason may be that women are more vulnerable to the effects of smoking and developing lung cancer than men. Has the age of smoking initiation come down more rapidly for women than for men?

In the study published Wednesday, the incidence rate for lung cancer remains higher in men than women when all races and ages are combined. The researchers noted that the lung cancer rate has fallen in America but that decline has only been seen among men. The information collected contained all cases of invasive lung cancer that was diagnosed in people between the ages of 30-54 years from 1995-2014.

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"Lung cancer doctors are all having this experience of seeing more and more women patients and more and more patients who have never smoked", said Marc Ladanyi, a lung cancer researcher and chief of molecular diagnostics at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who wasn't involved in the study.

For the study's authors, however, the conclusions are very valuable. After an X-ray and other tests revealed a mass on her right lung, she had surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian.

"We don't know why this change has taken place", said Dr.

"Sometimes young people are immune to messages about long-term health risks that will happen in their 60s", he said.

In the meantime, only research can help experts find out what's happening.

The American Cancer Society has an overview on lung cancer.

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