East Anglia: Smoking blamed for rise in the number of women diagnosed with lung cancer
- Credit: PA
There has been a rise in cases of female lung cancer according to a new report.
But the study by Cancer Research UK has found there are less men contracting the disease.
Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in the UK but the second biggest cancer killer.
It is often linked to smoking with around 87% of cases caused by tobacco.
And while the number of men with lung cancer in the east of England has fallen by 34% there are 17% more women being diagnosed with the disease.
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Going back even further, cases of lung cancer in women have risen by 73% across the country since forty years ago. In the same time there has been a drop of 47% in male cases.
The lung cancer rate in women is now 41 per 100,000, up from 23 in 1975. For men it is 59 per 100,000, down from 112 in 1975.
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Dr Jo Broadbent, public health consultant for north east Essex, said: “Smoking remains the single greatest cause of avoidable health problems in the UK – smoking is probably the single most damaging thing you can do to your own health. If you don’t smoke, you will live on average 16 years longer than smokers.
“Not smoking also improves the condition of your skin and your teeth, improves your fertility, and according to research makes you three times more attractive to prospective partners! Our message to young people is “don’t start”!
“It is vital that all organisations, parents and the community work together to make sure that children and young people do not start smoking. If you don’t start when you’re young, you’re much less likely to become a smoker once you’re in your late 20s.”
Jane Redman, Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson for East Anglia, said: “These figures provide a stark reminder that lung cancer remains one of the biggest challenges in cancer research.
“The disease kills more than twice as many people as the second most common cancer killer – bowel cancer – and this looks set to continue unless we all do more.
“The attitude that a lung cancer diagnosis is a death sentence must change.
Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK’s director of early diagnosis, said: “We need to improve awareness of the possible signs and symptoms of lung cancer and urge people – especially those at increased risk – to go to their doctor without delay if they spot any symptoms.
“We know that if people go to their GP as soon as they’re aware of symptoms it can make all the difference and save lives.”