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Lung cancer smokes breast cancer in Australian women

  • 20 December 2008
  • Written by 
  • Published in Health
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that lung cancer, for the first time, will kill more Australian women than breast cancer because women are smoking more than men.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report, released on Friday, December 19, 2008, states that lung cancer, for the first time in Australia, is more deadly than breast cancer for women.

In fact, the AIHW report called “Cancer in Australia: An Overview 2008” shows that the rate of lung cancer for women is predicted to increase by 0.4% annually for the next several years.

However, lung cancer rates for men will decrease by 1.1% for men for this same period.

The Canberra Times article “Gasp takes grasp: lung cancer top killer of Australian women” states that during the decades of the 1970s and 80s, many more women began to smoke than men.

In fact, during this time, man actually reduced their rate of smoking.

Consequently, now thirty years or so later, these female smokers are now finding out the devastating effects of smoking tobacco products.

Page two comments on statements made by Ian Olver of the Cancer Council of Australia.

Ian Olver, who is the chief executive officer for the Cancer Council of Australia, states, “It's tragic because there is not a lot you can do to prevent breast cancer but there is no reason for having so many people diagnosed with lung cancer when it stems from smoking.” [Sydney Morning Herald: “Lung cancer to overtake breast cancer”]

Olver states that his organization is suggesting that “… the Government … step up its efforts in reducing smoking-related deaths, and that really means price control and social marketing or advertising campaigns.'' [Canberra Times]

The Herald Sun report “Cigarettes are women's deadliest enemy” states, “In 2005, 2716 women died from lung cancer, passing for the first time the 2707 deaths from breast cancer.”

It adds, “In 2010, lung cancer is expected to kill about 3277 women, compared with 2930 deaths from breast cancer.”

Olver states, "The rate in women is simply going to increase.” [Herald Sun]

He exclaims, "It is inevitable." [Herald Sun]

Learn more about the "Health Effects of Smoking" on the Australian Government Initiative website.

The website states clearly and distinctly: "Smoking is an important risk factor for the three diseases that cause most deaths in Australia: heart disease, stroke and lung cancer."

"It is responsible for around 80% of all lung cancer deaths and 20% of all cancer deaths. Smoking has also been linked to cancers of the mouth, bladder, kidney, stomach and cervix, among others."

"Smokers are also at increased risk of having reduced lung function from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Using tobacco has been linked to a variety of other conditions, such as diabetes, peptic ulcers, some vision problems, and back pain."

"Smoking in pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth."


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