Lung cancer passes breast cancer as deadliest for women

14 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – For the first time, lung cancer has passed breast cancer as the deadliest cancer for women.

For decades, lung cancer has been the leading cancer killer in men; now, the same goes for women. The link is smoking. Research says female smokers peaked three decades ago, much later than for men.

About 14 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year, and roughly 8 million will die.

The good news is that lung cancer, along with nearly half of all other cancers, may be preventable. Doctors suggest you quit smoking, exercise and eat healthy. Quitting smoking, even in your 50s, can reduce your risk for lung cancer by 60%.

Tricia Herring of Suffield, CT, said, “I have tried to quit before and it hasn’t always worked out, but I feel like my efforts weren’t full. That is incredibly shocking. As far as I knew it was always breast cancer. I just feel like that’s so preventable, with obviously smoking causing lung cancer.”

The research shows that lung cancer is now the leading cause of cancer death in women in wealthier countries. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in poorer countries.

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