Are women more likely to develop lung cancer than men?
Although lung cancer has been considered a “male disease” for decades, women have been catching up. Today, lung cancer is the most deadly form of cancer among women – women have higher mortality rates than breast, ovarian and ovarian cancers. The American cancer society estimates that by 2017, 105,510 women will have been diagnosed with lung cancer and 71,280 will have died. Comparing these data with male statistics, the number of new cases diagnosed in 2017 was 116,990, and the number of deaths was 84,590.
“The incidence of lung cancer in men has been declining for decades, but in women it has been declining for the past decade,” the ACS report said. The American lung association reports that while more men are diagnosed with lung cancer each year, more women are living with the disease, and women’s rates have only recently begun to decline. “Over the past 39 years, the number of new cases of lung cancer has dropped by 32 per cent, while that of women has increased by 94 per cent. In 1975, the sex ratio is low, but the male to female ratio is on the rise, in 1984, the male (102.1/10), the height of the new cases and then began to decline, the proportion of new cases to rise further, women until 1998 peak (52.9/10), now began to fall.
So what causes these rates and why are there gender differences in lung cancer? “There are many theories, but there’s no clear answer,” said Dr. Karen Reckamp, associate director of medical and breast oncology at the duarte comprehensive cancer research center in California. One theory is that hormones may be a contributing factor. Some forms of cancer, including breast and prostate cancer, depend on hormone growth, and some studies have shown that some forms of lung cancer also require estrogen.
In addition, some studies have suggested a possible link between hormone replacement therapy and lung cancer progression in women. Although there are some conflicting data, HRT, whether to increase a woman’s risk of developing lung cancer is unclear, there is some evidence that if she had lung cancer, HRT will lead to “more invasive cancer” Reckamp said, the risk of death is higher.
Environmental and genetic contributions have also been made. “We don’t know this at all,” Reckamp said. “But it has to be genetic, and we’re trying to understand the genetics of lung cancer. It is hoped that after this, the study will lead to better screening tests, similar to the frequent testing of BRCA mutations in breast cancer patients, which is associated with a decisive increase in breast cancer risk. This can lead to screening low-risk people and treating lung cancer, but “we’re not yet in Reckamp,” says Reckamp.
Researchers at the Sloan Kettering cancer center have found that women are more likely to have mutations that cause lung cancer when they study mutations in genes that may cause lung cancer in smokers and non-smokers. Dr. Marc Ladanyi, a researcher and director of molecular diagnostics for MSKCC lung cancer, said the 2012 study did not take into account differences between men and women and found them. “We are studying lung cancer with KRAS mutations, which are the most common mutations in lung cancer.” Ladanyi and his team noted KRAS differences based on other studies that showed specific changes in lung cell DNA sequences caused by smoking. A mutation between smokers and nonsmokers. Smokers are more likely to have KRAS G12C mutations, while other KRAS mutations are more common in nonsmokers, Ladanyi said. (ACS reports that 20 percent of lung cancer deaths each year – about 30,000 people – occur in people who never smoke.)
Women who worry about lung cancer can reduce their risk by not smoking, Reckamp says. Suggested “1, 2, 3, don’t smoke, if smoking and quit smoking even if someone never smoking, lung cancer in young people, but so far, the highest risk of people or people who smoke, smoking is to stop smoking and do not use tobacco products is very important,” she said.
Ladanyi agree. “Even without a mechanism to address why women seem to be more vulnerable, I think that’s another reason women avoid or quit smoking,” he said.