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Women are more likely to survive lung cancer


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Women are more likely to survive lung cancer

Although female smokers are nearly twice as likely to develop lung cancer as their male counterparts, new research suggests they're about 50 per cent more likely to survive the disease.

Using data from several centres throughout the U.S., Dr. Claudia Henschke of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital and her colleagues compared lung cancer rates and outcomes in 7,500 female and 9,400 male cigarette users who were at least 40 years of age.

A total of 156 women and 113 men were diagnosed with lung cancer, for rates of 2.1 per cent and 1.2 per cent, respectively.

After adjusting for age and smoking history, the researchers found that women in the study were 1.9 times more likely to develop lung cancer than men. But women who developed the disease were 52 per cent less likely to die from it compared with the men.

Although the reasons for these differences between the sexes remain unclear, Henschke says female smokers should start getting screened for lung cancer when they have smoked less than men.

Based on their evidence, she and her colleagues believe the screening threshold for women of a given age should be 50 pack-years lower than that for men of the same age.

Given that one pack-year is equal to one pack per day for one year, 50 pack-years can be achieved in many ways -- for instance, as one pack per day for 50 years or two packs per day for 25 years and so on.

With files from The Medical Post.

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