Lung cancer is more common in young women than in young men, according to a large international cancer study on Wednesday. For a publication in the scientific journal International Journal of Cancer , the lung cancer figures from forty different countries, including the Netherlands, were compared.
While the percentage of young men with lung cancer is declining, young women are actually seeing an increase.
Previous research has already shown that the percentages of young men and women with lung cancer are getting closer to each other. According to the researchers, this was partly explained by the emancipation of women. Men used to start smoking in large numbers, the biggest cause of lung cancer. Women only started doing this later.
The research in the International Journal of Cancer shows that the number of young women with lung cancer is still growing, although they do not smoke more than men. The difference can therefore not only be explained by the difference in smoke patterns.
According to the researchers, the difference between young men and women can largely be explained by the fact that women more often have adenocarcinomas, a type of cancer that develops in mucus-producing gland cells. Why it is they who get it more often is not clear. Future research should explain this and other factors for the difference between young men and women, the researchers said.
Number of women with lung cancer fivefold
On Tuesday, figures from the Integrated Cancer Center the Netherlands (IKNL) showed that more than ten thousand people die of lung cancer every year in the Netherlands. This amounts to almost a quarter of all deaths from cancer in our country.
The number of women with lung cancer has increased fivefold in the last thirty years. Nevertheless, there are still more men who get the disease than women (7,500 compared to 6,300).