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November 02, 2018

Shattering Stigmas: What Women Need to Know About Lung Cancer

Joyce Knestrick, PhD, CRNP, FAANP

In the last 40 years, the rate of lung cancer has dropped 35 percent for men, while rising nearly 90 percent for women. Once thought of as a male smoker’s disease, lung cancer is shattering stigmas. Here’s what women need to know about the deadliest cancer:

  1. Lung cancer is the leading cause of death for women, killing more than breast, ovarian and uterine cancer combined.
  2. More men are diagnosed with lung cancer every year, but more women live with the disease.
  3. Lung cancer rates among young women are higher than for young men.
  4. While smoking is the biggest cause, 20 percent of women diagnosed have never touched a cigarette.
  5. Lung cancer is more likely to occur in former smokers than current smokers.
  6. Women are typically diagnosed slightly younger than men.
  7. Men and women tend to develop different kinds of lung cancers.
  8. The survival rate for women is higher than for men at all stages.

Lung cancer is the most common of all the cancers, and it affects women differently than men. No one is immune to lung cancer, and awareness is critical to beating it!