Women And Lung CancerNearly 86 percent of people who get lung cancer end up dying within 5 years of being diagnosed with the disease. Today, cancer is becoming the leading cause cancer-related deaths among women. Ironically, this fatal disease is preventable.
It has been found that nearly 90 percent of people, who get cancer, get it because of smoking. Of late, many women are smoking and this could explain why so there is an increase in lung cancer. Scientists have found that smoking is more injurious to women than men because a gene that causes lung cancer is more active in women than in men. This explains why women are 1.5 times more like to get lung cancer than men.
Most girls end up smoking well before they reach their 18th birthday. According to the Center for Health Communication at the Harvard School of Public Health, there are around 1.5 million teenage girls who smoke, and this number is increasing by the day. Majority of these teenage girls will continue smoking.
The strangest part is that women who smoke occasionally do not consider themselves to be smokers. These are women who label themselves as social smokers as they smoke while they are out with friends or they take few puffs when they are running errands. However, doctors say that there is no safe level of smoking as even a few drags can lead to habitual smoking without women even realizing it.
Usually women who are at risk of getting lung cancer have chest X-rays on an annual basis. Unfortunately these X-rays usually cannot detect small tumors, and there is a tendency that the X-rays can get misread.
However, a new experimental method using CT scan has been developed by Cornell University which is considered to be quite effective in detecting tumors, even those that are as small as a pea. However, since this is an experimental procedure most health insurance providers will not pay for it. Also, it costs between $225 and $700. Nonetheless, early research has shown that this new method is capable of detecting lung cancer in the early stages, which is usually missed out 85 percent of the times in chest X-rays.
Women, who smoke, should make an effort to quit smoking. There are various therapies available these days to help stop smoking. However, it has been found that many nicotine replacement therapies are not as effective in helping women as they are in helping men. Therefore, some doctors prescribe antidepressants like Zyban to help women quit smoking. These antidepressants also help in combating the weight gain that occurs after the women quit smoking.