New projections indicate that the number of women diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK is expected to exceed that of men this year, marking a significant shift and highlighting the need for women to remain vigilant about the disease, just as they are with breast cancer.
Its low survival rates are largely attributed to late-stage diagnoses, often resulting in less effective treatment.
Cancer Research UK’s analysis for The Guardian reveals that women are projected to overtake men in lung cancer diagnoses between 2022 and 2024.
The data suggests that this year, female cases will surpass male cases for the first time, with an estimated 27,332 and 27,172 cases, respectively.
Experts in the field describe these figures as ‘very stark’ and attribute them to historical disparities in smoking rates. Smoking prevalence peaked earlier among men than women, leading to the current gender imbalance. Consequently, medical professionals urge women to pay as much attention to potential symptoms of lung cancer as they do when examining their breasts for lumps.
Historically, lung cancer diagnoses in the UK have consistently been higher among men compared to women. Recent statistics from 2016 to 2018 reveal 25,404 male cases and 23,396 female cases. The incidence rate per 100,000 individuals was 91 in men and 71 in women during this period. However, this year is predicted to mark a reversal in this trend, with more women diagnosed with lung cancer than men.
As the number of lung cancer cases in women continues to rise, raising awareness about the disease, its symptoms, and the importance of early detection is crucial. By being vigilant and seeking prompt medical attention, individuals can increase their chances of receiving effective treatment and improving survival rates.