The Wall Street Journal reported today (4/14/04) that while the number of new lung-cancer cases has decreased in men, diagnoses among women have increased an astonishing 60% from 1990 to 2003. Today lung cancer kills more women in the US than breast cancer and ovarian cancer combined.
Smoking patterns among women does not fully explain why they are more susceptible to this type of cancer. Some researchers suggest that women may metabolize carcinogens differently then men, making them more susceptible to the cancer. Others suggest women don’t repair tobacco-induced genetic damage as effectively as men, or hormonal changes may play a role. Women also respond differently to cancer drugs and appear to survive longer with the cancer.
Another surprising, and maybe disturbing aspect of the disease in women is that while 85 – 90% of lung cancer patients have smoked at some point in their lives, many of the women had already given up smoking, even decades before the disease surfaced. Many of the women were also ‘social smokers’ at some point in their lives. Probably second hand smoke had a role to play.
One thing is increasingly clear, smoking is No Good! Not only will you kill yourself, you are also putting your loved ones at a higher risk of lung-cancer due to second hand smoke!
So, what are you waiting for? BUTT OUT!
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