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Lung Cancer vs. Breast Cancer


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With Breast Cancer Awareness Month almost upon us, I'm looking for some statistics from a reputable source to broaden a few horizons in a nonconfrontational way and maybe reduce some of the stigma attached to lung cancer. Something like this:

In 2006 [or some other period such as "over the last 5 years"], [xxxx] women died from breast cancer. During that same period, [xxxx] women WHO HAD NEVER SMOKED died from lung cancer.

Anyone have any data like that? I'm assuming the lung cancer number will be higher, since we're talking about deaths and not just new diagnoses. If I'm wrong, maybe someone has another way to phrase it that would be just as compelling. In either case, I think it's essential to have a credible source so people can verify the statement for themselves.

Aloha from Ned

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would this help??

http://www.hawaii.gov/health/statistics ... 003-04.pdf

This is a report on the Demographics of Cancer in Hawaii. if you want to change the state just try Demographics of Cancer in ....., Whichever state you are looking for. Gives a good breakdown os ALL CANCERS and is generated by the ACS for the state based on registries with in the state med system. Let me know if this is it or not if you want!!

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I know we are all in this cancer battle together but I was angered to find out in Canada (and I think the US too), that lung cancer kills more people than the other top 3 cancers - breast, colon, prostate - but gets less funding than any of them!! Something like breast 11.2 thousand vs lung 1.2. Breast cancer survivor rates are so great now because of the awareness, education and research funding and I just wish that lung was given the same respect. I would love to see LC get the kind of support community wide that BC does!

Is it really necessary to limit it to women who never smoked? It makes me think that it reinforces the attitude that we did it to ourselves and hence deserve it or at least what did we expect?! We are ALL worth saving even us dirty smokers. Our damn governments who allowed the drug to be pushed and the companies who make the product and knew how addictive it is should be funding the research in a big way until survival rates are up there.

Sorry for the rant.

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"nikk67" Is it really necessary to limit it to women who never smoked?

Of course not, and I agree with the points in your "rant." I have a specific local group in mind who could benefit from the comparison as I've structured it, if I can find some convincing numbers to put in that don't mix apples, oranges, tomatoes, and zucchini. But it might be about time to modify my approach.



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It all comes back to where you are

in Canada and the most important

part is the family doctor that is

treating you...........

In Quebec lung cancer is treated

fast when detected but still way behind

for drugs as many are not approved YET

for treatment.

In Quebec breast cancer is treated

slow because family doctors don't

do breast exams and are slow giving

the needed script to women for a mammo,

unless there is bc in the very near family

and you have to prove it.

So for this province in Canada all

goes back to the family doctor

that is in charge of your health

and you don't have the right or

the facility of changing doctor.

I have the last report

''Living with Cancer in Quebec''

fall 2006.........a real shame.

Extract from this report;

''Boucher uses on the most recent data

regarding cancer in Canada and in Quebec,

as released April 2006 by the Canadian

Cancer Society. Since 2005, cancer is the

number one cause of death in Quebec.

It is also the third greatest cause of

potential years of life lost (PYLL): more

than 300,000 PYLL.

That is my two cents on the subject

for today


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Ontario Canada

and smoking rulles


Retail behind-counter displays of tobacco are banned after 2008.

On June 1, 2006, the Smoke-Free Ontario Act prohibits smoking in all workplaces and enclosed spaces open to the public, except for private homes and hotel rooms.

In Toronto in 2004, all bars, pool halls, bingo halls, casinos, and racetracks became smoke-free, with fines ranging from $205 to $5,000. A plan to outlaw smoking rooms by 2005 was sent back to council for review.

The Northwestern (Ontario) Health Unit bans smoking in all public places and private businesses as of Jan. 1, 2003, with fines ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.

The city of Ottawa bans smoking in all workplaces and public spaces with no allowance for designated smoking rooms on Aug. 1, 2001.

It's illegal to sell tobacco at hospitals, psychiatric facilities, nursing homes, long-term care facilities and charitable institutions


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sorry Recce - I didnt mean to infringe on your post but I recently got more bad news and my anger and pity for LC has its back up and of course given the stats of LC vs BC where I live this was an issue for me as soon as I learned of the inequity. Like some women are more valuable than others.

Here is some info from http://www.lungcancercanada.ca/dyk.html

Did you know that there are important differences between men and women with respect to lung cancer?

* Women are 1.5 times more likely than men to develop lung cancer.1

* Women who never smoked are more likely to develop lung cancer than men who have never smoked.2

* Researchers are finding that the effects of tobacco seem to be far more damaging to women than men.3

* Lung cancer kills more women than any other cancer.4

* In addition to the burden of lung cancer on women as patients, women are often the primary caregivers of the 12,200 men who are diagnosed with lung cancer each year.

* Over the last 30 years, lung cancer has increased in young women and decreased in young men ages 20-44.5


1JAMA. 2004; 291:1768

Lung Cancer in US Women

2JAMA. 2004; 291:1768

Lung Cancer in US Women

3JAMA. 2004; 291:1768

Lung Cancer in US Women

4Canadian Cancer Society, 2004

5Ontario Cancer Registry, 2001

Looks like the data is a little old by the reference dates.

JC Sorry to hear about Quebec and I know Ontario is also behind in approving the latest drugs. But I also know we get great treatment and the drugs used are still the most common ones. I hear BC is up on the latest. I was(am?) a commercial property manager when the Smoke-Free Ontario Act was first implemented and when its different phases were enacted and I have to tell you even as a smoker, I was so pleased to put it into effect in my properties.

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Rattle the cages. Letters, interviews, testimony, actions, marches, events,pickets, drama....the media loves drama. When did you see a lung cancer die-in in the street, in front of a cancer conference? I haven't...ever.

How did that unpopular minority of gay men get attention, resources,funding? Direct action. Drama.

We rattled the cages. We were at risk, our friends were dying, some of us had symptoms....and we had an unresponsive government response, especially at the beginning...that included Democrats as well as Republicans...I remember picketing then Rep. Barbara Boxer at a townhall meeting because we couldn't get a congressional hearing scheduled....and the Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate. Two days after our picket the hearing was scheduled....It was 6 of us...we brought 2 weak guys in wheelchairs.

Most folks are ignorant of our plight. They are ignorant about the impact on women....I just learned it reading your post. I was unaware of the disparity until my recent diagnosis. Its reasonable for us to start pushing. Many Americans respect people who fight back, who stand up to injustice. Rattle the cages. There are models of activism which have worked.... breast cancer activists attended our ACT UP meetings. I remember getting energy every time I heard a media report about some dramatic AIDS action. It was good therapy...with value to the activists as well as those they were acting for. Rattle the cages. There are many potential focus points everywhere. Some pressure points are constant,...hospitals,legislatures, some change ...conferences, conventions, meetings, etc.

Thanks for letting me flashback. Ready to rattle the cages. If you rattle somewhere, please share. Hank

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We are neighbor, finally somebody

near my province.

We just got more founding for

cancer treatment Dr. Couillard

minister of Health in Quebec

province has a hard time following

health issues, 16 death from

C-difficile in one hospital,

two people died right in the

hospital parking lot after an

ER visit, they were told all

was fine it was in their head

and the worst, one woman killed

herself in her car with a borrowed

lighter(she did not smoke)

she lit an aerosol can when told

she had lc........

that just a few issues lately.

Have a friend in Toronto that

has lc, she got fast and good

treatments, she is a ripe age

of 84 years old and now doing

fine and still bowling.

You are much better in your


Take care


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Hank - Oh boy - you are my type - a political/social fighter! Thanks for sharing that. The problem with LC is that so many of us are so weak and then too many of us die and apparently this is one of the big mitigating variables (besides stigma)about why there is not more action. Too few of us to fight. I just realized BC might have had the advantage that many of its patients were/are younger than lc on diagnosis but that may be my misperception as I know their survival rates were horrible before the research and advances too. I was happy to hear that BC survival rates are 90%. I think its so great they helped HIV/AIDS activism! Wish there was more progress there too btw.

Its also why its a blessing that our loved ones do. This site and so many people on here are such a inspiration to the fight. But we need way more. I live in Toronto, a huge city and we should have an annual high profile LC fund raiser and I dont believe it exists. Oh there are small ones but guess what - minuscule to no media coverage. Thanks so much for your post. Feel free to PM me anytime if you want.

JC - Yes nice to meet a fellow Canadian. I know there must be more on here! I have talked to people about this site in a lung cancer support group and another woman was on here too I think and I gave the address to the facilitator so maybe more Cdns will hear about it.

OMG - those are horrible stories. I am very glad to here there is more funding.

I got very fast treatment too but I also figured it was because it was stage 3 under 1st diagnosis, then 4 under PET. There was a media article in the Globe and Mail that too many hospitals are not meeting the mandated time for treatment commencement once the patient is "treatment-ready", which I think is 4 weeks. I am sorry that we have better in Ontario; I think this is wrong. We need a single standard of care/drugs/access etc across the country.

Ummm I am not on many message boards (2 only incl this one) but I think I may have exhibited bad etiquette by posting about an adjunct issue to original. Very sorry and will try to behave!

NED - I wish you the best of luck Ned with your activism! I am always touched when men stand up to help women! This weekend there is a breast cancer fund raiser walk/run but there is also a division of it that you can sponsor another charity and my sister is doing it for lung cancer org I got that data. I am trying to go and just got wheelchair in case I am up to and I plan on wearing a t-shirt about LC and I am not sure what to say either. Maybe item 4 - LC kills more women than any other cancer but I wonder if it will offend...

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I wear a T-shirt with

To You It's a JOB

To Me It's My Life.

after all the doctors are paid

by the government and we pay taxes.

Just lately specialists in Quebec got

a 65% raise over 10 years period and now

treatments are moving faster, they were

underpaid compared to other provinces.

I've been working with cancer patients

since 1975, when my best friend died

from cancer and I got cancer the

same year.


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"nikk67" ...I think I may have exhibited bad etiquette by posting about an adjunct issue to original. Very sorry and will try to behave!

Please don't [behave]! Passion fuels our effort, and we're all on the same side here. Besides, my online Merriam-Webster defines adjunct as "an associate or assistant of another" -- your comments are consistently helpful and energizing.

By this weekend I should be able spend more time on the little project I mentioned, which aims to broaden the perspective of some people who are passionately involved in the breast cancer campaign, support and commend their efforts, increase their understanding of the lung cancer problem, help them realize that the connection between lung cancer and smoking has been oversimplified and has cast an unfair stigma on those so afflicted, point out to the anti-smoking hard-liners that lung cancer remains a major risk for people (especially for women) who stopped smoking long ago and even for those who have never smoked, and solicit their help for increased lung cancer funding which does NOT compete for the same funds now allocated to breast cancer and other worthy research efforts.

Gotta run for now. Aloha,


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Wow JC I was 8 yrs old in 75! That seems like a long time to fight to me. Thank you! Read teh Toronto Star article below - it says we are about 20 yrs behind breast cancer - I would be happy to hope that in 20 years LC could be as beatable as BC is now. Of course, it would be nice if it happened a whole lot sooner!

NED - this was recently published in Toronto and my sister sent me the link. I hope it works as lots of great info on women and lc unfortunately most in Canada and LC in general. Really impactful world info from Global Lung Cancer Coalition which says says lung cancer consumes one human being every 30 seconds – more than breast and prostate cancer combined, with another 1.2 million new cases diagnosed every year. It also talks about an early detection program they are trying here in Toronto's cancer hospital that start CT scans at 50 for smokers and ex-smokers if you qualify.


Lung cancer poses deadliest threat - by far


Thanks again for all you are doing. Those are the kind of bridges we must build together. And thanks for saying its ok to not behave and be outspoken!

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I admire your patience in putting

together the needed figures for

lung cancer and the lack of funding.

Would love to get them, please........

Actually they are again pushing for bc,

(bc month) pushing so much that I got

on my ''White Charger'' and stormed

in the hospital where a course (three

nights) 12 hours will be given for

cencer patients, care takers and nurses,

you pay for the course $149.00+the books.

It is all about breast cancer.....just a

few words about lung cancer(15 minutes)

They kind of know me well at that hospital

because I was a volunteer for years.

One of the teacher is *Cowboy scalpel*

is the one that operated me for cancer,

bad operation as he puncture the carotid

and sew back the opening and had to reoperate

me again....pictures were on this forum a

while back........and it was not cancer!!!!!

I asked that he resigned this teaching

job otherwise I will be present with

witnesses, pictures and the sanction

he got from that bad operation.

(kind of blackmail)

Now there will be a full night course

about lung cancer and causes (not smoking)

mostly work related and pollution, (we

had all the asbestos companies in the

region and the quarry workers in a place

where Radon was so high that the place

is now closed down)

the medication for treatments that are not

approved in Canada but should be as they

were proven to help, prolong and sometimes

cure lung cancer, a visit of all the rooms

for treatment and explanations about the

the machines (monsters) used for treatments.

Statistics will be given (will get them

if they are up to date) and the lack of

FUNDING...the night of the *SILENT KILLER*.

Got 20 places for that night with no charge

as the students all have lung cancer(except


So we are hoping for more funding from the

government as they first approved those

companies and closed them thirty years

later because they CAUSED LUNG CANCER.......

in their workers.

But I'm alone pushing no help except from

lung cancer patients and as they were told

it is smoking that cause lc, won't be much


Sorry about those long posts but I have

nowhere except this forum to express

my views and my lonely fight since my

husband died from lung cancer.


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