Sunday, May 22

Lung cancer in women: towards a global pandemic?

Lung cancer, soon to be the leading cause of cancer death in women in France? This is already the case in the United States, and pulmonologist experts warn of a “global pandemic” of lung cancer to come.

From January 21 to 23 is held on the 26th Pneumology and French language congress, during which pulmonologists will present the KPB-2020 epidemiological study, according to our colleagues from France Inter.

This is the third part of a follow-up launched in 2000, of which a second edition was published in 2010. This epidemiological study focuses on primary bronchial cancer, and its objective is to assess its mortality from one year to five years after diagnosis.

For the 2020 edition, 9,000 patients were studied, which represents 20% of new cases of lung cancer each year in France. Scientists have therefore observed, during these twenty years of monitoring, a notable increase in the number of lung cancers in women with cancer. They represented 16% of cases in 2000, 24% in 2010 and more than 34% in 2020.

Increase in smoking among women

“This increase is clearly linked to the increase in smoking among women. We are now a long way from the image of lung cancer reserved for the worker who is a heavy smoker. Among men, moreover, we are reaching a sort of plateau in the number of cases, it is clearly among women that it is increasing, and that is what we see in our consultations, ”said Didier Debieuvre, at head of this study, with France inter. The researcher also told the daily West France that the phenomenon was so rapid that some of his colleagues went so far as to speak of a “world pandemic” of lung cancer.

Tobacco remains in 85% of cases at the origin of these cancers. Scientists have however noted that the proportion of non-smokers, ie those who have never smoked or no more than 100 cigarettes in their life, is increasing among the sick. They were 7.2% in 2000 and are now 12.6%.

This study also draws up the report of the important delay in the diagnoses. Researchers say that in more than 60% of cases, lung cancers are detected at a very advanced or even metastatic stage. The treatments are however more effective, in particular those concerning the genetic mutations at the origin of cancers.

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