So far, tobacco is responsible for most lung cancer cases, as 90% of lung cancers in men and 80% in women occur in smokers. However, the profile is changing and just as this type of tumor has traditionally occurred in mature men and smokers, currently, ICAPEM—the Association for Research on Lung Cancer in Women—has increased the number of women in recent years. has been warned. young non smokers Lung cancer sufferers are on the rise.
It is inherent in men and increased in women.
Lung cancer is shrinking in men, while it is increasing in women. Currently, according to ICAPEM data, it is growing at a rate of 6% per year, between 8,500 and 9,000 new cases have been reported in women and is the fourth most frequent neoplasm among Spanish women. In fact, due to its high mortality rate, it already causes many similar deaths in Europe. Breast Cancerwhich is much more common.
But it is worrying not only that the rise in cases in women is also alarming because, although it is still more prevalent among mature women, the average age of women diagnosed with lung cancer has been decreasing in recent years. still persists. a disease that mainly affects mature smokers (over 55 years old), but the incidence is increasing greatly in younger patients”, they explain from ICAPEM, also in pregnant women, who greatly complicates the therapeutic approach.
“That age is declining and that’s dangerous, because youth affects the body’s resistance and recovery ability, but also affects the speed of cancer growth,” he says.
Tobacco isn’t always the culprit
There’s one obvious reason for the increase in lung cancer cases among women in recent years: tobacco. This is not the only one, but there is a clear relationship between the increase cigarette consumption by women – a consumption that increased particularly between the 70s and 80s – and cases increased in subsequent years.
For this reason, cases are expected to increase in the coming years as well. However, in the case of women, there are 20% of cases that are not related to the habit, as it occurs in non-smokers, “It is important to understand that, although most cases of breast cancer occur in smokers, smoking It is possible to develop the disease without cancer”, warns ICAPEM, a non-profit foundation whose main objective is to raise awareness among the population about lung cancer in women.
According to this unit, other risk factors for contracting lung cancer are tobacco smoke from others (passive smoker), pollution, genetics, bad habits or exposure to substances such as radon, “We cannot assume that young Being or being a non-smoker cannot be with us.
This tumor is not only for men, or the elderly, or smokers. It is important to be vigilant about this to prevent the diagnosis from being given too late”, he explains. Failure to take these factors into account can delay diagnosis and worsen the prognosis of a cancer that is already one of the deadliest.
How to prevent lung cancer in women
no smoking And avoiding inhaling other people’s cigarette smoke is the best way to reduce the risk of developing lung cancer,” that is, clearly, is one of the most important objectives, because of the risk of lung cancer in women. The increase in cases is undoubtedly a result of the fact that women smoke more and more, both active and passive”, he says. Other factors, such as pollution or exposure to radon, are less easy to control, not to mention genetics.
For this reason, ICAPEM specialists, above all, ask for a greater awareness of the symptoms so as not to delay diagnosis. Furthermore, a fundamental pillar in any type of cancer: more research, because, as they explain, “it has already been observed that being a woman or a man is important for the symptoms, diagnosis, development and treatment of cancer.” affects response,” he says.. Therefore, investigating more about how gender affects disease could help improve treatment and reduce mortality.