Female smokers have a much greater risk from lung cancer and chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD) than female smokers 20 or 40 years ago, which reflect changes in smoking behaviour. The increased risk in female smokers has been large enough to completely offset improvements in longevity from medical advances that have reduced death rates in the rest of the population over the last 50 years. Women today smoke more like men than women in previous generations, beginning earlier in adolescence and smoking more cigarettes per day.
Lung cancer 'overtaking breast cancer in European women'
Lung cancer is set to overtake breast cancer as the biggest cause of female cancer death in Europe, say experts. This is already the case in the UK and Poland, the Annals of Oncology reports. The rise reflects a surge in the number of women who started smoking in the 1960s and 1970s. The experts say the lung cancer death rate will continue on its upward trend for the next few years - but with fewer young European women now starting to smoke, it should decrease with time.
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