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Smoking riskier for women, claims study

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Women could be at greater risk than men from lung cancer as a result of smoking, according to a new study.

Swiss researchers who studied 683 lung cancer patients found that although women on average smoked much less than men, they tended to develop the disease younger.

Dr Martin Frueh, from St Gallen Canton Hospital in Switzerland, said: ‘Our findings suggest that women may have an increased susceptibility to tobacco carcinogens.’

The study was presented at the first European Multidisciplinary Conference in Thoracic Oncology in Lugano, Switzerland.

Co-chair of the meeting, Dr Enriqueta Felip, from Val D’Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona, said: ‘In the early 1900s lung cancer was reported to be rare in women, but since the 1960s it has progressively reached epidemic proportions, becoming the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States.

‘Lung cancer is not only a man’s disease, but women tend to be much more aware of other cancers, such as breast cancer.’

A separate study by researchers at the St James’s Hospital, Dublin, however, found that survival for women who undergo surgery for lung cancer was 4.7 years on average, against 2.1 years for men.

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