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New Lung Cancer Warning for Women Who Smoke

New evidence of powerful smoking-lung cancer link

FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- There's new evidence that the most common form of lung cancer in women is more closely associated with cigarette smoking than previously recognized.

That's the disturbing finding of a Mayo Clinic study in the current issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The study used a statistical model to compare incidence rates of three kinds of lung cancer in more than 41,000 postmenopausal women in Iowa. The three types of lung cancer the researchers looked at were adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and small cell carcinoma.

The Mayo researchers concluded there was a strong association between adenocarcinoma and smoking.

They found that among 10,000 women who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 to 39 years, 30 of those women will develop lung cancer each year: 14 adenocarcinoma; eight squamous cell; and eight small cell lung cancer.

Among 10,000 women who do not smoke, three will develop lung cancer each year, with two of those being adenocarcinoma.

Lung cancer has been the leading cause of cancer death in women in the United States for more than a decade. About 68,000 American women died of lung cancer in 2000, compared to about 40,000 deaths caused by breast cancer.

Adenocarcinoma accounts for about 40 percent of lung cancer cases in women.

More information

Here's where to go to find out more about lung cancer.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic, news release, Dec. 10, 2002
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