Why are women more likely to die from lung cancer than any other cancer?

More people die of lung cancer each year than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined. This is likely due to the fact that symptoms develop later with lung cancer, leading to diagnosis at a time when the cancer is more advanced and less treatable or curable. Proven screening methods for breast and colon cancer have led to earlier detection and better survival rates for these cancers compared to lung cancer. Until recently, there was no proven method for screening for lung cancer. Even the currently accepted screening method (low-dose CT scan of the chest) is only beneficial for a specific group of people (heavy smokers older than age 55). Also, the smoking rate among women rose dramatically between 1930 and 1960. This led to a large increase of lung cancer in women starting around 1960, as well as a significant increase in death caused by lung cancer in women.

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