Lung Cancer and Women: What You Need to Know

November is Lung Cancer Awareness month. Lung cancer kills more women than any other cancer – nearly 200 each day. Most die within a year of diagnosis. Yet lung cancer remains the “hidden” women’s cancer – little known and rarely discussed. It is the least funded cancer in terms of research dollars per death of all the major cancers.

It’s one of the only cancers where patients are routinely blamed for causing their condition. But despite lung cancer’s strong association with tobacco use, one in five women who develop the disease has never smoked.

What’s the Difference?

Lung cancer develops differently in women and men. There are sex differences in many areas of the disease, including risk factors, clinical characteristics, progression and length of survival.

For example:
• Women who have never smoked appear to be at greater risk for developing lung cancer than men who have never smoked.
• Women tend to develop lung cancer at younger ages than men.

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