Female deaths from lung cancer fall to 30-year low

Woman who give up smoking avoid the risk of dying from lung cancer

The number of British women under 70 years of age dying from lung cancer has
dropped to its lowest figure for 30 years, according to statistics published in
January.

The decline – which follows a similar trend among men – has been directly
attributed to an increase in the number of women giving up smoking. Cancer
charities say this trend is likely to continue for at least another 10 years.

Cancer charities and lobby groups, including Cancer Research UK, Marie Curie
Cancer Care, Quit, ASH and No Smoking Day, all joined forces to promote January
as Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

Smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, with nine out of 10 cases linked
to tobacco.

According to the latest statistics, in 1988 there were nearly 6,000 deaths
from lung cancer in women under 70 years old and 6,300 in women over 70. By
2001, this figure had dropped to 4,550 deaths in women under 70 years old and
8,500 deaths among the over-70s.

Sir Richard Peto of Cancer Research UK, said: "Half the people who
continue to smoke will eventually be killed by their habit, but quitting works
surprisingly well. Even after smoking for many years, those who stop before
they have lung cancer or some other serious disease, avoid much of the risk of
being killed by tobacco."

The figures come on the back of research published by the charity in
December which showed the number of cancer cases in the UK is continuing to
rise, but better diagnosis and treatment means the disease is causing fewer
deaths, with mortality falling every year since 1983.

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