Gender difference in lung cancer survival

Posted by Samantha Powell on November 26th, 2013 |

News Headline: Gender difference in lung cancer survival
Date:  11/26/13
Outlet Full Name: 
Toronto News FIX
Geoff Michaels

Rates of lung cancer are increasing among women, but they fight it better than men do.

Data projections suggest that lung cancer will overtake breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer death in women within the next 20 years. For while male mortality from lung cancer has stabilised and then begun to fall in recent years, lung cancer is going up in women, because more of them are smoking.

German researchers have been looking at the outcome in lung cancer, studying 233 women and 698 men, average age 68. At five years, just over 20 per cent survived – male or female. But the survival rates were quite different by gender at one year – especially in the under-50s, where the survival rate in women was 69 per cent and only 36 per cent in men.

Another study, from Brazil, showed a similar difference in survival for people with early bronchial cancer (that is, diagnosed early). Survival at five years was 75 per cent for women, compared to 37 per cent for men. It’s thought the reason for the difference may be hormonal. Given the likely rise in female lung cancer, it’s vital researchers now try to learn more about what makes women more likely to survive the disease.


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