Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the world. Even thought, this disease can affect anyone, both men and women, and is difficult to treat. But women are more likely to survive from lung cancer than men.
Currently, the number of women diagnosed with lung cancer increases overtime. However unlike men, the percentage of women affected by lung cancer is more common in women who do not or have never smoked. And the women who are diagnosed with lung cancer tend to be slightly younger, by an average of two years, than men.
Some studies suggest that women are more susceptible to carcinogens presented in cigarettes, making them tend to develop lung cancer after fewer years of smoking. However, women who affected by lung cancer are also had better respond to chemotherapy than men. Also, one of the new targeted therapies like erlotinib appears to be more effective for women, particularly young women.
These conditions make women are more likely to survive from all stages of lung cancer. This survival advantage over men is greatest for local disease, where surgical treatment of lung cancer offers a greater chance for a cure in women than in men, as quoted from About.com.
The survival rate for lung cancer in women is slightly higher than in men at all stages of the cancer. The overall 5-year survival rate is 16% for women and 12% for men.
Till date, smoking is still the leading cause of lung cancer in both men and women. Some other risk factors include exposure to radon gas, lung screening, other environmental and occupational exposures, or a genetic predisposition. Recent studies suggest that infection with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) may also play a role.
Some of the common lung cancer symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, chest pain and coughing up blood. Generally, this cancer does not show up any signs or symptoms if the cells growth has not been developed further.
So far, the best ways to prevent lung cancer is to quit smoking, avoid exposure to secondhand smoke, physically active, limit alcohol intake and eat a healthy diet, especially diet rich in antioxidants.