Lung cancer set to overtake breast cancer to become biggest killer among females

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A new report has indicated that lung cancer is set to become the biggest killer among females. It is set to overtake breast cancer because of the number of women who started the habit during the 1960s.

The report indicates that the death rates among women due to lung cancer are set to increase by 8% during 2014 in 27 EU states.

The University of Milan research has shown that lung cancer in females and pancreatic cancer in both sexes is set to become a deadly threat.

The researchers predict that lung cancer is likely to be the largest cause of death among females due to cancer, by the end of this decade. This is due to the large number of females who started smoking during the 1960s and 1970s, several generations after men started smoking.

They forecast that the number of deaths from pancreatic cancer in the EU is set to reach 82,300 people this year. The Lead Scientist at the University of Milan, Professor Carlo La Vecchia, stated that their 2014 predictions confirm that the death rates linked to pancreatic cancer are continuing to rise in both males and females.

The prediction is that 41,300 males and 41,000 females will die due to pancreatic cancer. This is around 5.6 deaths per 100,000 people. This indicates a small, but steady rise since the start of this century. During the period 2000 to 2004, the death rates were 7.6 per 100,000 for males and 5 per 100,000 for females.

The researchers have said that the increased death rate is a huge cause for concern as the prognosis for this particular type of cancer is rather bleak. Pancreatic cancer patients face an under 5% survival rate for five years after first diagnosis. This low survival rate makes the prevention, control and better treatment for this disease a priority.

The research indicated that total numbers related to cancer deaths have increased since 2009. This is the last year EU mortality rates were published by the World Health Organisation.

It shows that the section of the EU population dying has declined by 7% for males and 5% for females.

In the EU this year, it is expected that 742,500 males and 581,100 females will die from a type of cancer.

The study incorporated cancer rates for the entire EU, including the 27 states that were included during 2007.

For males, the predicted rates for bowel, prostate and lung cancer had declined by 4%, 10% and 8% respectively since figures were made available during 2009.

For females, breast and bowel cancer rates declined by 9% and 7% respectively, but the incidence of lung cancer deaths were expected to increase by 8%.

Image Credit: Free to Breathe

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