Lung Cancer Alliance Commends Research On Non-Smoking Lung Cancer Cases
Today, Lung Cancer
Alliance (LCA) commended the work of a Stanford researcher for documenting
the number of non-smokers who are being diagnosed with lung cancer.
According to the report, which followed a detailed analysis of all
available data, 8 percent of men and 20 percent of women who are diagnosed
with lung cancer have never smoked. That means that in 2007, 30,000 people
who have never smoked will be diagnosed with lung cancer, nearly two thirds
of them women. The study was published last month in the Journal of
Heather Wakelee, MD, of Stanford Clinical Cancer Center's Division of
Medical Oncology, and author and lead researcher of the study said, "We can
now say that lung cancer in never-smokers is as big an epidemic as cervical
cancer in women."
"Though we had estimates of these numbers before, we didn't have the
comprehensive study that could really put those numbers in perspective,"
Dr. Wakelee commented to LCA.
Laurie Fenton, LCA president, praised Dr. Wakelee for her research.
"For years the public health establishment has refused to address lung
cancer as a disease, fueling the negative attitude toward lung cancer
patients -- whether they smoked or not -- and using the stigma of smoking
to justify the underfunding of research," said Fenton. "Now we face an
epidemic of lung cancer, particularly in nonsmoking women."
Given the new figures, an estimated 14,200 women who have never smoked
will die of lung cancer this year, nearly four times the total number of
women -- 3,700 -- who will die of cervical cancer.
"Isn't this enough?" queried Fenton. "Haven't enough people died to
prompt the medical community to start addressing lung cancer research and
early detection with some sense of urgency?"
Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer, causing one in three cancer
deaths and taking more lives each year than breast, prostate, colon,
kidney, melanoma and liver cancers combined. More than 160,000 men and
women will die of lung cancer in 2007.
Lung Cancer Alliance (