Women and Lung Cancer


Thanks to Bernadine Healy, M.D. for her column "Hormones, Heart, and Cancer" [usnews.com].

This new data from The Women's Health Initiative adds urgency to the need for further study into the relationship between hormones and cancer, especially lung cancer. Lung cancer statistics should concern everyone: Lung cancer is now the leading cancer killer of women in the United States, claiming nearly twice as many lives as breast cancer. It further surprises many that nearly 20 percent of these deaths are in women who have never smoked. In fact, women who have never smoked are at greater risk for lung cancer than men who have never smoked and we don't yet know why. Research funding addressing the underlying role of hormones and other sex differences is desperately needed to advance lung cancer treatment for women, and men.

Joan Schiller, M.D.

National Lung Cancer Partnership