Researchers believe the number of British patients living with lung cancer is set to rise to around 137,000 by 2040.
Macmillan Cancer Support has predicted that 95,000 women will have the disease by 2040, up from 26,000 two years ago. This means there is likely to be an extra 69,000 women who develop lung cancer.
Lung cancer is also set to become more common among men, although the rise will be far smaller.
There are expected to be 42,000 men living with the illness in 2040, 8% more than in 2010 when the figure was 39,000.
The research was carried out by academics at King’s College London and paid for by Macmillan. The report indicates that the increased projected levels are partly down to people surviving for longer after they are diagnosed with lung cancer.
By 2040 almost 50% of women and 60% of men are expected to live at least five years after finding out they have the disease.
Official figures from the Office for National Statistics show lung cancer is the fifth most common cause of death for women, being responsible for 5.3% of deaths last year. And the disease ended the lives of 16,881 men, making it the second biggest killer.
Macmillan blamed the forecast rise in lung cancer cases on the fact Britain’s population is getting older and said more money is needed to be spend on looking at ways of treating it.
Macmillan Cancer Support’s chief executive Ciaran Devane said lung cancer is frequently forgotten about but the research shows how deadly it is.