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Lung cancer tops list of cancer deaths among women, experts say

May 06, 2019 - 4:00 am
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KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Can you name the leading cause of cancer deaths among women?  If you said breast cancer, you are incorrect — although it is a good guess.

Lung cancer is currently the number one cause of cancer related deaths in the United States for women.

Experts say the numbers are dramatic as lung cancer causes more deaths than colon, breast, and pancreatic cancer combined.

While the disease is on the decline among men, diagnosis and death rates in women continue to rise.

In an American Lung Association survey, half of the women said they weren’t concerned about lung cancer since they had successfully quit smoking or never smoked at all.

This is another knowledge barrier. Yes, smoking is the biggest risk factor, but one in ten cases occurs in people who have never smoked a day in their lives.

Perhaps even more disturbing, experts say, women younger than age 45 are more likely than men of the same age to develop the disease.