August 23, 2010 - More and more women are dying from lung cancer. In new statistics released by the Philippine Cancer Society (PCS), with a rate of 2,500 (per 100,000 research population) new cases of women with lung cancer monitored, 2,043 patients have died. The higher mortality rate is due to the fact that more females smoke cigarettes; and unlike breast cancer, lung cancer is detected only during advanced stages.
Back in June 2009 in the Philippines, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported that ten Filipinos die every hour due to smoking. Furthermore, 35 percent of the general population are smokers, of which 60 percent are males, 9 percent are women, 15 percent of whom are young girls in their teens.
(Philippines - June is annually observed as 'No Smoking' Month.)
“Based on data that we have at the Philippine Cancer Society (PCS), lung cancer is the top cause of cancer-related death for males. And while breast cancer among females is most prevalent, the mortality rate for women caused by lung cancer is significant,” said PCS executive director Dr. Rachel Rosario.
“Tobacco use is the single most significant lifestyle choice that has increased the incidence of lung cancer. The mortality rate is alarming because more than 80 percent of women with lung cancer have succumbed to the disease. This dangerous habit affects not only the smoker, but also the people around them. Second-hand smoke is as lethal, and a new study has pointed out that 3rd hand smoke is also a possible cause of cancer” added Dr. Rosario. While first-hand smoke is inhaled directly by the smoker and second-hand is the smoke exhaled (and inhaled by others), third-hand smoke is the residue from second-hand smoke.
Some studies on third-hand smoke and its effects reveal that tobacco residue that lingers on surfaces can react with another chemicals in the air to form potent carcinogens — chemicals linked to various cancers. When someone smokes in a confined space, the scent lingers for an extended period of time. This indicates the presence of third-hand smoke. Nicotine can persist on those indoor surfaces, such as walls, floors, carpeting, drapes, and furniture for days, weeks, and even months. (Children are especially vulnerable to thirdhand smoke..)
International lung cancer death rates among women vary dramatically, which reflect the historical differences in the adoption of cigarette smoking by women in different countries. In 1990, lung cancer accounted for about 10 percent of all cancer deaths among women worldwide and more than 20 percent of cancer deaths among women in some developed countries.
In 1950, lung cancer accounted for only three percent of all cancer deaths among women. However, by 2000, it accounted for an estimated 25 percent of cancer deaths an estimated one of every four cancer deaths and nearly one of every eight newly diagnosed cancers among women.
Research has also shown that women are approximately 1.5 times more likely to develop lung cancer than men given the same conditions and the number of cigarettes smoked on a daily basis. (Women Smokers Twice as Likely as Men to Develop Lung Cancer, Zosia Chustecka Medscape Today, 7/11/2006) Furthermore, the risk for dying of lung cancer is 20 times higher among women who smoke two or more packs of cigarettes per day than among women who do not smoke. (Women and Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General Executive Summary, CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), 8/30/2002)
For more information about the cancer, visit the website at www.cnetwork.org.ph.
Reference: Smoking women: the alarming statistics, mb.com.ph - Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp., 8/23/2010.
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