Lung cancer rates up in women despite fewer smokers

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ALTHOUGH the number of people smoking has fallen, the latest figures released on Friday show that lung cancer cases in Hertfordshire have increased among women.

A survey carried out by Cancer Research UK has found that around 260 women are being diagnosed with the disease in the county every year.

This equates to 32.9 being diagnosed in the region for every 100,000 women, in comparison with 31.2 in the 1980s.

Lung cancer is still more common in men in the county, with around 340 cases each year, but rates have been falling fast.

Now 50.9 per 100,000 men are being diagnosed with the disease in comparison with 97.4 in the mid-eighties.

Helen Johnstone, the Cancer Research UK spokesman covering Hertfordshire, said: “Lung cancer continues to claim far too many lives. More than four in five cases of the disease are caused directly by smoking. But this means nearly one in five cases is not.

“It’s really important that anyone with a cough that lasts for three weeks or a worsening or a change in a long-standing cough get this checked out. Also, it’s never too late to give up smoking – you will reduce your risk of developing lung cancer and other serious diseases.

“Your GP or local pharmacy can advise you where to find your local NHS support services.”

Now around 20 per cent of women are believed to smoke, and around 22 per cent of men are smokers.

The charity wants to push towards reducing tobacco marketing visible to children.