Monday, July 10, 2006

U.S. Women Uninformed About Lung Cancer

U.S. Women Uninformed About Lung Cancer

2 hours, 51 minutes ago

MONDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- A new survey finds that American women are greatly uninformed about the threats posed by lung cancer and how it can affect them.

Published by the U.S. National Lung Cancer Partnership, the 2006 survey of more than 500 women not only lists the statistical realities of lung cancer in this country -- it also reveals a widespread lack of awareness by millions.

"This survey is a current snapshot of women's attitudes and beliefs about lung cancer, and it's frightening -- especially considering the extensive media coverage on the topic after Peter Jennings' and Dana Reeve's deaths. Women need to know the truth about lung cancer," Regina Vidaver, executive director of the National Lung Cancer Partnership (NLCP), said in a prepared statement.

According to the NLCP, lung cancer affects more than 80,000 American women annually, with over 70,000 cases proving to be fatal. Thirty thousand more women die annually from lung cancer than from breast cancer, they noted. In fact, lung cancer claims the lives of more women than breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers combined.

Other vital findings include:

Only 41 percent of women know that lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in the United States. Only 8 percent of women understand that exposure to radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Instead, 60 percent of women share the mistaken belief that exposure to secondhand smoke is the number two cause. Only 36 percent of women are aware that lung cancer kills more women than breast cancer. Only 29 percent know that lung cancer kills more women than breast, ovarian and uterine cancers combined. Only 41 percent of women know that one in every 17 women will develop a lung malignancy in her lifetime. Only 18 percent of women know that women make up the majority of young (under age 40) lung cancer patients. Only 4 percent of women know that women typically do better than men following lung cancer treatment.

Another crucial subject addressed was that a quarter of all women "mistakenly believe there is a standard screening test to detect lung cancer in its early stages. Although such tests are in development, there is no clinically-approved screening test for this nation's top cancer killer", the NLCP said in a statement.

"Lung cancer is often perceived as a man's disease, yet it affects tens of thousands of women, and we're very concerned that women seem to be in the dark when it comes to the facts about lung cancer and the significant impact lung cancer can have on their lives," said Dr. Joan Schiller, president of the NLCP.

More information

For more information on lung cancer and treatment, please visit Women and Lung Cancer.

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