Growing evidence of sex-based differences in lung cancer highlighted at roundtable meeting

Women's health and lung cancer advocacy groups, led by the Society for Women's Health Research, vowed today to make lung cancer education and advocacy, especially among women, a top priority for their organizations in 2006 and beyond. The roundtable meeting took place at the National Press Club, where health experts and advocacy leaders discussed sex-based research advances in lung cancer and the challenges in elevating public dialogue about the deadly disease. Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer of women and women are approximately 1.5 times more likely to develop lung cancer than men.

"A growing number of women, including non-smokers, are diagnosed with lung cancer each year" said Phyllis Greenberger, president and CEO of the Society for Women's Health Research. "We need to improve women's awareness of this disease and we need more research to understand the impact of sex and gender on the development and treatment of lung cancer. The federal government can play an important role in this process by increasing funding for research and education targeted at the underserved population of women."

Lung cancer claims the lives of more American women and men than the three most common cancers combined (colon, breast, and prostate) yet it receives a disproportionately low amount of media attention and government research funding. Approximately 350,000 people in the United States have lung cancer, and an estimated 173,000 were diagnosed in 2005. Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common form of lung cancer, accounting for approximately 87 percent of cases. While lung cancer incidence and mortality have been declining among men, there has been an alarming four-fold increase in lung cancer in women over the last 30 years.

Female smokers appear to be two to three times as susceptible to lung cancer as male smokers. Biological differences between the sexes may partially explain why women are more vulnerable to the cancer-causing effe

Contact: Leslie Wheeler
Weber Shandwick Worldwide

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